That is what faces his St Johnstone team in Sunday’s Scottish Cup quarter-final. Yet Callum Davidson refuses to consider that overcoming a title-winning Rangers on a 19-game domestic winning streak in their own environs would represent the most laudable single performance of his first season in management, even if he has already stashed away a trophy, won against Livingston.
“I wouldn’t say that. I would say winning the League Cup no matter what,” he said. “People asked me what it was like to reach the League Cup final and I said it is only good if we win it. If we beat Rangers on Sunday and then get knocked out in the semi-final it won’t be that big a game. I want to win the tournament. No matter what game you play they are all tough.”
Davidson also rejects the notion that he has made it more difficult for his team at Ibrox by effectively showing his hand in the two clubs’ 1-1 draw at Perth in midweek. While he fielded a team that seemed to approximate his best XI – doing so because his team are still chasing a Premiership fifth place that could bring a European football – Steven Gerrard ran with a line-up that only included five players likely to start the quarter-final.
“I wouldn’t say I played my strongest team,” Davidson said. “When you look at the Motherwell game before the cup final I made three or four changes for the final. I am always willing to make changes and I believe in the 17 or 18 outfield players and the goalkeepers. I believe in whatever team I pick or choose. I try and pick a team that will win the game.
“I know Rangers will probably play slightly differently on Sunday. They played a different formation against us on Wednesday. I don’t know but I imagine he will bring two or three players back in that will suit a different formation. We will look at that. I want to win the game, but I have the possibility of making a couple of changes too.”