Davidson relishing chance to lead the Saints in Turkey

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St Johnstone midfielder 
Murray Davidson is looking forward to captaining the side for their Europa League second qualifying round first-leg clash against Eskisehirspor in Turkey tonight.

The 24-year-old was named Saints vice-captain by manager Steve Lomas this summer and the former Livingston man will now lead the side out with skipper Dave Mackay not making the trip due to a calf injury.

Despite being part of the Livingston squad that reached the first round of the UEFA Cup back in 2002, Davidson sees this as a new experience and will be happy to wear the captain’s armband.

“It was a bit of a surprise when I was told I was vice-captain and obviously with Dave Mackay, club captain not making it, it is a big honour,” he said.

“It’s a new experience, I was at Livingston when they were in Europe but I was just a young lad so I wasn’t really involved so this is my first taste and I’m looking forward to heading out there and getting in amongst it.

“We’ve got a very experienced squad and everyone knows what to do. It won’t take much from me.”

With Rangers now missing from the SPL, many pundits have suggested Celtic will stroll to the title. But Davidson feels anything can happen if momentum can be gained, something the Saints could achieve with victory over the two-legged tie with Eskisehirspor.

“I’m not one for setting targets personally but with Rangers going out the league it opens everything up and if you get off to a good start you never know what can happen,” he said.

“We’ve got two European games and then you’re into the league and it is all go at the moment.”

Lomas believes his side are the outsiders going into the match but feels that could be to their advantage.

“It is not uncommon to the lads they are going away as the underdogs,” he said.

“If you are to get results away at Celtic and Rangers, and come to these foreign shores, you’ve got to be defensively disciplined, you’ve got to take your chances and you’ve got to have a little bit of luck.

“It’s the first time in (Europe for) 15 years so, like I say, we are going to enjoy it. The team are going to go there and give it their best shot.”

He added: “Their budget is 15 times more than ours. The heat will play a factor. But our boys are quietly confident.”