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Callum Davidson happy with the impact made by St Johnstone’s forwards in opener

St Johnstone v Hibernian – Betfred Cup – Semi Final – Hampden Park
(Image credit: Jeff Holmes)

St Johnstone manager Callum Davidson hopes an opening day run-out for four forwards will boost his strike options for their European return.

Saints warmed up for their Europa League qualifier against Galatasaray in Istanbul on Thursday with a goalless draw with Ross County in Dingwall.

Ali McCann missed the chance to claim three cinch Premiership points when he blasted a penalty over the bar.

Saints lacked a cutting edge as they adjust to life without Guy Melamed but Davidson feels his forward players will benefit from their first competitive match of the season.

Davidson started with Michael O’Halloran and Callum Hendry, back from his loan spell at Aberdeen, while Stevie May and Chris Kane replaced them 76 minutes in.

Davidson said: “Stevie May only trained on Friday and Kano has missed the first three weeks of pre-season.

“I thought Callum Hendry and Mikey O’Halloran did really well. The two of them were probably just a wee bit short on fitness.

“It was the right time for them to come on and make an impact and I thought they did that.”

County boss Malky Mackay was proud of his players for claiming a point following a difficult pre-season which saw the club shut down for 10 days due to a Covid outbreak, which ended their hopes of Premier Sports Cup progress.

And there had been a further blow for the Dingwall side on Friday when they lost one of Mackay’s summer signings, on-loan Southampton defender Jake Vokins, to injury.

“We also had to contend with Jake, in the last minute of training, innocuously making a pass, feeling something in his foot and suffering a stress fracture in his fifth metatarsal which will keep him out for 10 weeks,” said Mackay, who has brought in five players after 15 departed in the summer.

“Jake had settled in well but he was absolutely gutted. He’ll be operated on down in Southampton on Monday.

“We should have players by the end of the week.”