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Callum Davidson backed St Johnstone to pull away from relegation trouble in the coming weeks as the sacked manager thanked the club for the memories he made during his near three-year reign.

The 46-year-old was relieved of his duties last Sunday after a 2-0 defeat at Livingston that made it six games without a win and left Saints just five points ahead of bottom-placed Ross County and four shy of Dundee United and Kilmarnock.

Davidson, who led the Perth club to an historic League Cup and Scottish Cup double in 2021, issued a heartfelt message to supporters through the club’s website in which he tipped his former assistant Steven MacLean – who has been installed as caretaker – to ensure a strong finish to the campaign.

“I would like to thank Steve Brown and the St Johnstone board for giving me the opportunity to become the manager in 2020,” said Davidson.

“I was proud and honoured. In my three seasons in charge we achieved many positive things and created wonderful, lasting memories for the football club and our supporters.

“I was assisted by a fantastic backroom staff in Steven, Alex, Alex, Melanie, John, Paul and, latterly, Liam and Elliot. They are all talented, loyal and dedicated.

“The players were also superb. The squad in 2020-21 enjoyed many highs and then last season the squad went through tough times but they showed great character, spirit and resilience to preserve their Premiership status.

“We rebuilt the squad in the summer and I believe they will make sure they finish high enough up the league to remain in the top flight.

“I wish Steven and the staff well in the final few games of the season.

“Steven has the ability to be a successful manager if he chooses to go down that route in the future.

“Also, a huge thanks to the St Johnstone supporters. They gave me incredible backing in my three years as manager. I’ll always remember that and be grateful for it.”

Davidson has called on Saints supporters to remain united between the team as they bid to preserve their top-flight status at a time when long-time owners Geoff and Steve Brown – as well as overseeing a managerial change – are looking to sell the club.

“For any football club, there is always a better chance of success when there is unity,” said former Scotland, Blackburn and St Johnstone defender Davidson.

“When everyone sticks together, positive things can be achieved and with the full backing of the St Johnstone support, Steven and the players can finish the season well.

“I also wish the Brown family well for whatever the future holds for them.

“Geoff and Steve have given everything to Saints for over 35 years and deserve enormous credit for the sustained stability and success they’ve achieved.

“Finally, reflecting on my 14 years with St Johnstone, I am very proud to have been a part of what has been a very successful time in the history of this wonderful club.

“Thank you for the memories!”

Saints begin life after Davidson at home to Hibernian on Saturday.