Callum Davidson believes his St Johnstone side should be inspired rather than intimidated by the visit of Celtic on Saturday.
The Hoops travel to McDiarmid Park on Saturday lunchtime on the back of a 3-1 Champions League defeat by RB Leipzig in Germany on Wednesday night but still top of the cinch Premiership and heavy favourites to bring three points back from Perth.
The Saints boss surveyed one of the toughest fixtures in the calendar and looked for his players to be positive.
He said: “As a professional footballer you always want to play against the best. You want to test yourself and challenge yourself.
“If you wanted easy games all the time play a different sport – or don’t play sport at all, really, in my opinion.
“You always want to challenge yourself and try to compete and be the best you can be.
“I will ask my players to go out and give a good account of themselves and perform to the highest level they can and hopefully we can get something. If we don’t, we can move on to the next game.
“Celtic are a top team, big squad, lots of good players and it is always going to be tough against them.”
Saints lost for the first time in four games when they went down 2-1 to Kilmarnock at Rugby Park in midweek but Davidson insists there was no blow to confidence.
He said: “There was frustration from Wednesday night.
“If you watch the game we played quite well, some of our football was not too bad at times. In the second half we just lacked that bravery to get back into the game.
“That’s what I was most disappointed about. We controlled a lot of the game but we didn’t ask enough questions of Kilmarnock’s back line and goalkeeper so something to work on, but there is a lot of positives there.
“Theo Blair came on and scored his first goal, young Max (Kucheriavyi) came on and played really well. Ali Crawford started the game and did well so a lot of positives there from guys who haven’t been starting normally.
“The games come thick and fast at the moment. It is an early kick-off tomorrow and it is about recovering from Wednesday night. Obviously playing on the artificial surface affects the body differently so we need to make sure we are ready for the game on Saturday.”