CALLUM DAVIDSON would be the first to admit that his first steps into management probably haven’t gone the way he had planned out in his head. 

In his opening match as St Johnstone boss he conceded a penalty and had a player sent off within the first 45 minutes. 

Then with under 24 hours until his first home game in charge of the Perth club, the fixture against Aberdeen was postponed due to eight Dons players having to enter self-isolation. 

Now he faces the daunting task of a trip to Ibrox with just three matches under his belt in comparison to Rangers’ seven this term. 

But despite the odds being heavily stacked against the McDiarmid Park manager, Davidson is confident his side can put up a fight. 

He said: “Obviously they have had a lot of games, more than we have had, but I think we are in a good enough condition to compete. 

“The one positive is we managed to get three or four players back fit again, so losing Saturday wasn’t bad on that front.  

“I was disappointed at missing a game. It’s something we knew was going to happen at times.  

“It’s a learning curve moving forward. We are all trying to move and improve with the times. 

“They had to deal with it accordingly. It wasn’t St Johnstone. We were just playing Aberdeen so I can’t comment [on how it was dealt with]. But the decision was made and we got on with it.  

“It was taken out of our hands but the Covid-19 pandemic is a serious situation and we need to take it seriously.” 

After the news broke that Celtic’s Boli Bolingoli travelled to Spain and back, and in doing so breached strict quarantine rules, Davidson reinforced to his players the importance of following the guidelines that are in place for Scottish Premiership clubs. 

He continued: “I have talked with the players and went through with them what we expect of them. But what we expect is difficult because you learn as you go along.  

“We are back playing football again and you think: ‘that’s great — it’s a bit more normal and it’s a bit more routine.’ But you have to realise what we are up against. We need to wash hands and wear face masks. 

“The players know what the club’s standpoint was on what we expect from them but the Aberdeen situation probably hit it home harder for them. They realise exactly where they are. 

“I think sometimes you look at the government rules and what is allowed and what is not allowed.  But I can’t afford to lose any players so I have to be a bit stricter with my squad in terms of what they can and can’t do. 

“It’s hard to control what my players do off the field. You can only give them rules and guidelines but hopefully they all do that because I need every one of my first team squad available for every game. 

“All I want to do is play football every Saturday and Wednesday and at St Johnstone we will do everything we can to make sure our players are on the pitch and there’s a spectacle for the fans to watch. It’s moving parts all the time and we want to be part of it.” 

On the threat of Steven Gerrard’s team, Davidson added: “Rangers have been really good, I saw them at the weekend and thought they were very good against Aberdeen too.  

“When you go to Ibrox or Celtic Park you need all your players to play well, especially when they are full of confidence after two wins.  

“But hopefully we can put in a really good performance and see where it takes us. It will be strange having no crowd because as a player I really enjoyed it.  

“It has been a bit stop-start so far but we just want to get a run of games now and build momentum going further into the season. 

“The group of players we have here train hard but we can’t replicate matches as I only had enough for six versus six at the weekend.  

“So it’s going to be tough but I was happy with the fitness levels against Dundee United and we have to take that into the Rangers game now.”