ST JOHNSTONE manager Callum Davidson has hailed striker Guy Melamed ahead of this weekend's Tayside derby clash against Dundee United. 

The Israeli frontman has made just one league start since his summer arrival in Perth and supporters have been eager to see more of what he has to offer with Saints hitting a dry spell in front of goal.  

Davidson had previously raised trust issues with the 28-year-old, but ahead of Saturday's trip to Tannadice the McDiarmid Park boss has hinted that Melamed could be thrown into the action. 

“He’s been brilliant in training, he’s eager and desperate to get a game. I’ll need to assess it and look at the squad and see where we are,” he told Herald and Times Sport. 

“Over the next couple of weeks it’s important I try and get him another game and see what he can do. I feel for him. It’s been a tough start quarantining then trying to get him game time and so on.  

“I give him a lot of credit because he’s not stopped and he’s asking for extra. He’s desperate to do well and we’ll probably see him on the pitch soon. 

“I’m really pleased with his attitude as I am with all the players. A wee bit of luck and quality in the final third and things can change quickly. 

“His girlfriend came across but she had to fly back so he’s here on his own. It’s tough for him to meet other people too. 

“It’s not just football, it’s the outside influences which is really hard so credit to him for keeping his chin up. 

“I sold it to him he could play in front of 50,000 people at Parkhead and instead it’s 50 members of the press!” 

Saints may be struggling to find the back of the net at the minute, but Davidson refuses to put full blame on his strikers.  

He continued: “It’s not just the strikers, it’s everyone. It’s your centre-halves with set-plays being important. It’s not just the strikers taking the burden all the time for not scoring. 

“All the players need to do that and hopefully if we can score from other areas that’ll take the pressure off the strikers and hopefully they can then start banging in the goals as they did middle of last season.” 

The two previous league meetings between St Johnstone and Dundee United this season have seen an equal share of the spoils with very little to choose between both sides. 

But with Saints just two points from the foot of the table, Davidson knows his team must start picking up victories. 

He added: “It’ll be an interesting game. I think they’ll come and have a go. The last game they sat in and defended. 

“I think it’ll be different on Saturday, there’ll be space to press and we need to make sure we exploit that. They’ve got that attacking threat. Making sure we’re sorted and we can stop their attacking threat which does carry goals. 

“Shankland, McNulty, Clark, Pawlett, Appere. There are a lot of them so we need to make sure we’re ready for that. I’d take a 1-0 scoring in the 91st minute of a scrappy game. We’ve played a lot of good football and not got the rewards. 

“So at this present moment we’ll find a way to get the result without deviating too much from how we want to play. There are maybe little things we can improve on and if we have to make it ugly then we make it ugly and we battle and fight it out.”