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Dan Cleary up for the survival fight at St Johnstone

Dundalk v Rapid Vienna – UEFA Europa League – Group B – Aviva Stadium
(Image credit: Peter Morrison)

Dan Cleary is up for the fight at St Johnstone as they battle for cinch Premiership survival.

The 25-year-old Irish defender arrived at McDiarmid Park from Dundalk earlier in the month to find last season’s double cup winners bottom of the table.

The Perth club’s problems were compounded by Saturday’s Scottish Cup defeat in extra-time away to League Two side Kelty Hearts which made it 10 defeats in a row for Callum Davidson’s side.

St Johnstone host fellow strugglers Dundee on Wednesday night and Cleary revealed his appetite for the battle ahead.

“I am up for the fight,” said the Dubliner, who admitted the start to his career at McDiarmid Park “hasn’t been ideal”.

“I am not shying away from something like this. I’m Irish as you can tell and we are always up for a fight.

“That’s where my mentality is at and I think all the lads are in the same boat. Obviously we were disappointed after the weekend.

“Morale was quite low but we had a good meeting yesterday, a good training session and good recovery so everyone is looking forward to tomorrow to put things right.

“We know what we have to do to kick on and climb up the table. We know we can do it, there is quality players in the team. It is not unrealistic, it can be done.

“Everyone needs to stay positive, we haven’t got time for people going around with their heads down. We need people to stand up and take this opportunity.”

Second-bottom Dundee are two points ahead of St Johnstone, with their Scottish Cup win away to Dumbarton on Saturday ending a run of six straight losses.

Cleary is aware of the importance of the Tayside derby, regardless of what terms it may be couched in.

He said: “It is a massive three points up for grabs. It will take us up the table and that’s the way we have to look at it.

“You can put it any way you want, a cup final or a six-pointer or whatever way you want. It is a massive game.

“I think every single player in the squad is looking forward to it to put things right.

“We understand the fans’ frustrations at the minute, it is not good enough from us but we are looking at putting things right.”

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