St Johnstone will manage Cammy MacPherson game time

St Johnstone need Cammy MacPherson to be a “big force” for the remainder of the Premiership season, according to Callum Davidson.

And that might mean managing his game-time even when the former St Mirren is playing well.

The 24-year-old has only started two games since tearing a thigh muscle back in August.

MacPherson impressed alongside Dan Phillips against Rangers last weekend in one of those starts.

And if his injury curse doesn’t strike again, Davidson believes he’s got a midfielder “who can do everything” at his disposal.

But pushing MacPherson too hard, too soon has to be avoided.

“The debate and deliberation among the staff is when we play him, how we use him,” Davidson said.

“It’s really important that he’s a big force for us between now and the end of the season.

“You saw the combination with him and Daniel, with Melker (Hallberg) in front. Energy levels were very high. It gave us really good balance.

Dan Phillips is another key player. Image: SNS.

“It’s about making sure he stays fit, that we don’t fatigue him and that we get him through the games.

“Cammy will say he wants to play every 90 minutes but it’s really important for him and St Johnstone that we manage this correctly.

“He’s had a lot of bad luck, not one injury the same. He popped his shoulder, his thigh, his groin so he’s had loads of different things.

“It’s really important we look after him as much as we can.”

Adrenalin stage

The Perth boss added: “I think you get through the first two or three games on adrenalin when you’re coming back off a lay-off.

“You can get a wee lull and you must get through that. Then you can kick on again. That’s what I always felt.

“I need to make sure I’ve got Cammy right until the end of May, that he’s fit and a big part of the team.”

Davidson believes Saints have only scratched the surface as far as MacPherson’s performance levels are concerned.

“There’s a huge amount of improvement to come,” he said. “We see it every day in training.

“Cammy is still a young man and he’s got a lot more to give. He can do everything.

“Sometimes he has to switch-on on the defensive side, which he’ll get better at with more games. Once he does that he can be an all round midfielder.

“But I know what he and Dan can do, the energy they can bring to the team.

“It’s great for me to see it. For a pair that hadn’t played, I feel it worked very well.”

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[St Johnstone will manage Cammy MacPherson game-time]

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