Scottish Premier League

Davidson looking for response

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Fri, 08 Mar 2013 18:07:00

St Mirren manager Danny Lennon has a number of injury concerns to contend with as he prepares for the visit of Dundee United this weekend.

Jim Goodwin's calf complaint makes him 'touch and go' and he will be handed a late test before a decision is made on his participation.

Gary Teale is making a good recovery from his abductor problem and Steven Thompson (groin) also comes into contention, but Lee Mair is out with a stomach injury and could miss the League Cup final on Sunday week.

Thompson admitted that the team have to remain focused on the SPL this weekend with the Hampden showdown against Hearts looming next weekend.

"We obviously have the game against Dundee United and have to show a reaction to losing to Dundee during the week, to give belief and confidence back to the supporters for next weekend," he said.

"But there is no doubt you would be lying if you said you weren't thinking of next weekend. It has certainly been at the forefront of my mind for quite some time."

Dundee United could hand a debut to new signing Rory Boulding for the trip to Paisley.

The former Livingston striker has signed until the end of the season as cover after Johnny Russell was ruled out with a fractured leg.

Swedish defender Marcus Tornstrand could also feature with Gavin Gunning ruled out with an injured knee.

The 24-year-old failed to make a first-team appearance at Newcastle before his permanent move to Celtic last year, following two loan deals at the Parkhead club.

However, he has forced his way into the England squad this season, thanks in part to the Hoops' remarkable Champions League campaign which saw them make the last-16 before exiting to Juventus in Turin on Wednesday night.

Forster is one of several players who could be subject to bids from interested clubs in the summer.

Speaking ahead of the Clydesdale Bank Premier League match against Ross County in Dingwall tomorrow, he said: "It is definitely one of my ambitions at some point to play down south, I think it is everyone's ambition at some point to test themselves in the Premier League and we will just have to wait and see if it happens.

"We have an ambitious squad and you can't blame them if they want to go and fulfill ambitions elsewhere.

"For me, it is key to stay in and around the England squad.

"I have got the taste of it. I want to push Joe Hart in the long run but Ben Foster has come our of retirement in the last couple of weeks and he is obviously a fantastic keeper.

"But it is important that I am playing and being tested week-in, week-out."

A formidable Tynecastle strike pair of John Sutton and Michael Ngoo proved too much for Saints on Tuesday as Hearts secured a 2-0 win in Edinburgh and the Perth side missed the chance to move third in the Scottish Premier League.

Kilmarnock are likely to prove a different prospect with their passing style but the bumpy McDiarmid Park pitch might force them to change their tactics.

And Davidson knows they have to be prepared for any eventuality after manager Steve Lomas described them as "second best all over the pitch" on Tuesday.

"It really hasn't happened too often this season," Davidson said.

"Hearts had a game plan which we couldn't quite handle and we didn't really adapt well enough.

"I think the effort and commitment was there but the quality when we didn't have the ball was probably lacking.

"It's one of those things that you have to work on.

"You come across different teams all the time, different formations and different style of play, and you have got to adapt to them all."

Former Saints striker Cillian Sheridan could provide a similar challenge to the likes of Sutton but Davidson expects a different encounter.

"Cillian will probably be involved and obviously Kris Boyd played for the under-20s the other night and they are two physical players," the former Scotland international said.

"Kilmarnock like to throw it out from the back a little bit more so it will be a different game.

"We have got to make sure we are up for it and are prepared the best we can be."

Despite the setback in Edinburgh, St Johnstone are in the driving seat in their bid to finish in the top six and can put six points between themselves and Killie tomorrow.

"The next three games we have got are must-wins," Davidson said.

"That was our first defeat in four. You can't just take one game - you have to look at them all as a whole.

"It's about how we bounce back from the game."

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