Callum Davidson talks pre-season and Celtic friendly

Callum Davidson sat down with Queen’s Park’s Media Team earlier this week to bring everyone up to date with how pre-season training has been going and how his side are shaping up for Wednesday night’s Friendly match with Celtic ahead of the competitive action starting at Peterhead on Saturday.

Now six months into his role at the Spiders Callum said: “The training, application and fitness levels have been really good, and I am pleased with that. We had a fantastic trip to Belfast, the facilities that we used were first class and the players really enjoyed it.

“It was good to get everyone together and bring some of the young boys over as well.”

There has been a number of departures and arrivals since last season ended with a 2-0 win over Airdrieonians in May and Callum was asked where he felt his squad was ahead of the trip to Balmoor in the Premier Sports Cup.

Callum said: “We have three or four injuries just now and we need three or four signed players so we are a bit away from being a fully competitive squad. Sometimes you get injuries in the same area, and it is important that we have the right size of squad including the young players to cope with this.

“We lost Cillian Sheridan at the end of last season, and he had become a vital cog. He scored four goals and assisted in six other goals in less than twelve starts. He was fantastic for us on and off the park and we need to make sure we can replace him properly.

“There are other areas such as wide positions where we are targeting recruitment. It is important to get players in those positions, although we recognise that they have missed pre-season with us and will be playing catch-up with their team-mates.

“Those team-mates have been brilliant in pre-season and in our games against East Fife and Kilmarnock. We need to make sure that we give them help.

“We have Celtic on Wednesday before facing Peterhead and as much as I would like to field an experienced XI in both games, we know that it will not be. I am however very hopeful that over the next week we will have three or four additions to take us closer to that fully competitive squad.”

Asked to sum-up in one word the change in his squad Callum advised: “Surprising – in that at the end of the season I thought I would be needing two or three players to come in, but it is now more than that.

“We have signed Josh Hinds who has just turned 20 and he is a young man that has potential, and I am really pleased that we secured Roddy MacGregor as well as I have liked him for a long time.

“He was outstanding against Kilmarnock where he played central midfield, but he is versatile and can switch to the right or left or just behind the striker. He gives me good versatility.

“Goalkeeper Jack Wills is one we know all about as he was here in the second half of last season, and it is good to have him on board again.”

Callum added: “We have lost quite a few but our Director of Football Darren O’Donnell and I have worked really hard in getting others in. It was a very busy summer, and whilst it maybe does not look like that at the moment, I don’t think I have spent as much time looking at a laptop as I did over the past few weeks.

“Hopefully all that hard work will pay off.”

As for facing Brendan Rodgers side Callum said: “Celtic played two different teams down at Ayr last week and we know whatever team or teams they play will be strong. They are the best side in the country, and it will be a lesson for us in how to play, especially when we do not have the ball.

“We are a side that is capable of playing really good football but one that allows other teams to attack us too easily. It is one area from last season where we need to be better so this game will be a test, but that is why I picked it.

“It allows our younger players to see where their standards need to be. Celtic and Rangers have set the standards in Scottish football for years now and it will be good for my players, especially the younger ones, to see where they are in comparison and what they have to do to compete.

“Hopefully it will spur them on. Celtic will be a great occasion at The city Stadium but for me, as a manager, the most important game is the Peterhead one as that starts the Premier Sports Cup off and we want to do well in it.

“We have injuries and suspensions, but I am not going to try anything against Celtic in the hope it will work against Peterhead. We have options already considered for that and we need to make sure everyone comes through this one unscathed and be part of the set-up at the weekend.”

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