St Johnstone boss Callum Davidson has revealed he failed in a bid to sign Nathan Patterson on loan in January as he expressed excitement over the Rangers full-back’s Scotland prospects.
The 19-year-old excelled in Rangers’ Scottish Cup win over Celtic on Sunday and Steven Gerrard described him as the best Scottish right-back in the league.
Former Scotland full-back Davidson declared himself an admirer ahead of his side’s double header against the champions, although Patterson could be sidelined depending on the outcome of Rangers’ appeal against his breach of Covid protocols.
“I’m really excited when I watch him play,” Davidson said. “He is someone we looked at when we were losing Danny McNamara in January. I had a look at Nathan Patterson and thought, ‘Oof, I wouldn’t mind mind getting him’. But no chance.
“He’s a fantastic prospect and hopefully he can continue to develop the way he is.
“He’s got a lot of potential, you see his energy levels and his quality, but for me it’s his attitude. He’s got a great attitude when he’s on the pitch, he never gives up. I am really excited about that for the national team.
“Attacking full-backs are part of the threat in most teams, especially the way Rangers play. They encourage their full-backs to get high and get the ball into the area. He fits that system really well.”
Davidson could make changes for Wednesday night’s Scottish Premiership clash in Perth, but he is confident his players can rise to the challenge twice against Rangers this week, with their Scottish Cup quarter-final arranged for Sunday evening.
“There’s a few knocks and niggles so I will need to assess who is going to be available,” Davidson said. “Losing Glenn Middleton is a big blow from the attacking side of things as we will be without him for these two games.
“I will probably make one or two changes and then make another couple of changes for the quarter-final, we will see how the game goes on Wednesday.
“Sometimes when you play against Celtic and Rangers you don’t have a lot of the ball so your physical output is a lot higher than normal games.
“The only good thing for me is the game is on Sunday so there are no excuses, we have a good rest period, so if we pick the same 11 they will be ready to go.
“Mentally it’s really important we have a strong performance on Wednesday night to take positivity into the quarter-final.”