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Callum Davidson admits to sleepless nights in early St Johnstone days

Callum Davidson admits to sleepless nights in early St Johnstone days
© Reuters
Callum Davidson could guide Saints to a cup double this season but he won just two of his first 10 games in charge.

St Johnstone are dreaming of a cup double but boss Callum Davidson admits he faced sleepless nights as he wondered if his move into management might be going all wrong.

Davidson is now a leading contender to be named manager of the year after backing up Saints' Betfred Cup triumph with a place in both the top six and this month's Scottish Cup final.

But while it has been a remarkable second half to the campaign, things did not always look so promising for Tommy Wright's former number two.

The 44-year-old suffered a bumpy transition into the top job at McDiarmid, with his team winning just two of his first 10 games in charge.

And he admits his worries kept him awake at he pondered if he was cut out for management.

Thankfully as winter approached, Davidson's team finally began to heat up and a red-hot run now leaves the St Johnstone manager just 90 minutes away from becoming the first non-Old Firm boss in 31 years to secure a trophy double.

"There was a time (I worried things might not work out) because we kept playing well and getting beat," he said.

"I looked at all the stats and asked, why are we getting beat when we're dominating teams?

"It was just about that little bit of belief and that little bit of luck too. Sometimes you need both.

"The main thing is the players bought into it. If they didn't think what we were doing was right, I might have had a problem.

"Don't get me wrong, I did have questions at night, asking am I doing the right things? Are we training the right way?

"But all credit to the players as they have definitely turned around the season.

"We believed in what we were doing, that was the biggest thing.

"I put a stat up for the players probably around December time to show the players how well we were playing and what we were doing right.

"I also showed them when we were conceding goals, which was a key factor in us not picking up points.

"I think then they started to believe what we were doing.

"But results also help, as did players starting to hit form. Guy Melamed came in and added goals while putting Kano (Chris Kane) and Stevie May under pressure.

"The Betfred semi-final against Hibs was the biggest moment, the game where the boys realised, oh we are a good team. Since then we've been very hard to play against."

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General view of McDiarmid Park, home to St Johnstone, from 2015
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Olympic medal table header
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United StatesUnited States1011930
Olympics flagOlympic Athletes from Russia78520
Great BritainGreat Britain56516
Today's Olympic highlights header

Thursday's key events

· Comeback queen and super-mum Helen Glover goes for her third Olympic gold alongside Polly Swann in the women's pair final (1.30am)
· There is also a medal on offer for GB pair Emily Craig and Imogen Grant in the lightweight women's double scull final (2.10am)

· As second-fastest qualifier for the final, Team GB's James Wilby is among the medal contenders in the men's 200m breaststroke (2.44am)
· Alys Thomas takes part in the women's 200m butterfly final, although he faces a difficult task to challenge for the medals (3.28am)
· Caeleb Dressel of the USA has been touted by some as the successor to Michael Phelps, and he has the chance to notch up a fourth Olympic gold in the men's 100m freestyle final (3.37am)

· After Team GB's men narrowly missed out on a medal, the women get their campaign underway against the Russian Olympic Committee (3am) and New Zealand (10.30am)

· It is a Great Britain vs. Netherlands double-header, with the men up first in Pool B (4.15am)
· Most eyes will be on the women's showdown between the two nations, though, as Netherlands - the world's best team - look to gain revenge on GB for defeat in the 2016 Olympic final (11am)

· Mallory Franklin takes part in the women's canoe semi-final, and will hope to do enough to qualify for the final later in the day (6am-8.45am)

· With Simone Biles now out of the women's all-around final, the competition has been blown wide open. Team GB twins Jessica and Jennifer Gadirova are among those taking part (11.50am-2.05pm)

> Today's schedule in full
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