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Callum Davidson excited by Zander Clark and Liam Kelly’s Scotland battle

By November 3, 2021No Comments

St Johnstone manager Callum Davidson is looking forward to seeing Zander Clark and Liam Kelly fight it out to become Scotland’s next number one.

Current first-choice Craig Gordon is 38, while understudy Jon McLaughlin is 34.

St Johnstone keeper Clark, 29, and Motherwell stopper Kelly, 25, are generally viewed as the next two ready to jostle for the position when Gordon eventually calls it a day.

Kelly was named in Steve Clarke’s squad last month, while Clark – fresh from a sensational display against Dundee United last weekend – was this week called up for the upcoming double-header against Moldova and Denmark.

Davidson said: “I heard Steve Clarke talking about how he’s got two really good younger goalies and he’s just having a look at both of them.

“Zander didn’t get in the last squad and I’m sure Liam Kelly’s disappointed he’s not in this one. I think it’s good for Scottish football that we’ve got two really good younger goalies who are performing well, at a high level.

“Craig Gordon – I hope he doesn’t mind me saying – is slightly on the older side so we need that sort of younger freshness in the squad. It’s great for the two guys to be competing for the place.”

Davidson believes Clark is only going to improve in the coming years.

He said: “I think goalies get better and more mature as they get older. They make better decisions and I think definitely in the last 18 months to two years we’ve seen that with Zander.

“He’s got the right attributes, the right frame and the right mindset. The big thing with Zander is he’s producing the big saves at crucial times in games and that’s a sign of a very good goalie. Hopefully he can go on and get a cap for Scotland.”

With Hibs idle this weekend and Aberdeen hosting Motherwell, ninth-place St Johnstone could climb into the top six if they follow up their 1-0 win at Dundee United last weekend by defeating St Mirren in Perth on Saturday.

Davidson said: “Right from the bottom up to fifth is so tight at the moment and our job is to try and claw a few more teams back into the pack.

“It’s going to be a tough old season. We’ve started the second quarter on a positive note but there’s no point in going to Tannadice and getting three points if we don’t follow it up with a performance against St Mirren.”