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Tommy Wright’s Scottish Premiership preview: I’ll be on the end of a phone but I’m sure Callum won’t need me at St Johnstone

© SNSCallum Davidson with Tommy Wright
Callum Davidson with Tommy Wright

Tommy Wright believes Callum Davidson can lead St Johnstone to a top-six finish this season – and maybe even a place in Europe.

Having lost their long-serving manager at the start of May after seven years at the helm, the Perth club took a few weeks to assess their options before bringing in his former assistant from Millwall, where he had been working as Gary Rowett’s No. 2.

It was a move that found favour with his predecessor.

“I think Callum was the perfect fit to come in after me,” said Wright. “He knows the club and the players.

“He is very enthusiastic and knows the game inside out. He is also a bubbly character on the training pitch.

“If I say so myself, he has been left with a very good squad, one that is on the up.

“When the season was brought to a halt by Covid-19, only Celtic were in better form than us.

“True, we didn’t start the season well, but the young players should have learned a lot from that. I saw a few of them mature last season.

“St Johnstone is well run. If there was ever a club that should be able to deal with the situation we are dealing with at the minute, it is them.

“The club has always worked within its means. There were cuts to the budget planned, anyway.

“Looking at the squad, he shouldn’t need to do a lot of surgery to it.

“It is in good shape to hit top six and – depending on what other clubs can afford – there could be a chance of Europe too.”

Wright, however, does warn Davidson that he will be in for a shock to the system.

“The test for Callum won’t be on the training pitch. It will be in doing the job of a manager,” he said.

“I have played the role of assistant. But it’s the manager who chooses the tactics, and makes the substitutions and that will be the aspect of the job that Callum will be challenged with.

“And, of course, he is the one who gets the blame when things go wrong.

“I have no doubt he will be up to it. There will be new experiences for him, but he is well-equipped to cope.

“If needed, I will be available at the end of the phone. But I’m sure he’ll be his own man.”