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Callum Davidson not bitter over facing Aberdeen’s Covid culprits

Who is in the frame to replace Tommy Wright as St Johnstone boss?
(Image credit: Craig Watson)

St Johnstone boss Callum Davidson insists he is not bitter that his side will have to face up to four of Aberdeen’s Covid culprits.

Saints are finally set to host the Dons on Thursday night – two-and-a-half weeks after the Perth fixture was originally scheduled.

The Reds were forced to postpone three games and are facing SFA and SPFL charges after Jonny Hayes, Michael Devlin, Scott McKenna, Matty Kennedy, Sam Cosgrove, Dylan McGeouch, Craig Bryson and Bruce Anderson broke coronavirus guidelines during a team night out.

The August 8 date at McDiarmid Park was the first clash to be shelved after two members of Derek McInnes’ team tested positive for coronavirus, with the six others forced to self-isolate.

But Bryson, McGeouch, Hayes and Kennedy have now re-emerged from quarantine to join new signing Ross McCrorie in the squad for Thursday clash.

However, an understanding Davidson is refusing to complain about the fact his side were denied to take on Aberdeen when they were down to the bare bones.

He said: “It’s a difficult time and one with a lot of unknowns. Unfortunately Aberdeen were the club where something happened, so (am I irritated)? No not really.

“I don’t see it (as being unfair). I saw it as another game that has just been postponed for Covid reasons.

“We just have to move on.

“If I sit now and think, ‘Oh they could be playing without eight players’ then I’m not doing my job.

“The governing body make the rules and there’s nothing I can do about it. I just have to prepare my team.

“If I start getting all bitter about it then I don’t think I’m doing my job right.

“Whatever team Aberdeen put out it will be strong. I’ll just be concentrating on playing them as if it was before.

“I think it’s tough because the rules are always moving and changing.

“There are these unknowns.

“We all got a little shock and a little fright with what happened to Aberdeen.

“Hopefully it’s not just the people in football but the people across Scotland take notice because its so important that we stick to the rules and try to get rid of this terrible pandemic.

“It was unfortunate that it was Aberdeen but it very easily could have been St Johnstone or any other team who found themselves involved in this kind of situation so there is a bit of sympathy there.”

Saints got themselves up and running last week to record Davidson’s first win as Saints boss at Rugby Park last weekend.

But he shrugged off suggestions Aberdeen will be suffering from ring rust having not featured since the opening day of the season.

“I’ve worked under Derek and played under him, so I know what type of training he does,” he said. “I’m sure and I know Aberdeen will be fired up for the game.

“Their fitness levels will be high and they will be determined to prove a point after what’s gone on.

“So first and foremost we need to match that. Our concentration levels need to be up there.

“It’s a bit of an unknown in terms of what kind of team they put out but whatever team they play, it will be a strong one and we need to make sure we’re ready.”