No regrets over Dundalk exit for Cleary as he bids to avoid drop at St Johnstone

“I came here for the challenge, I was ready for it mentally and I am enjoying it at the minute.”

Image: PA

DAN CLEARY INSISTS St Johnstone need to believe they can climb the Scottish Premiership table as the fight to avoid relegation resumes after the international break.

With seven fixtures remaining – two before the split – the Perth side are in the relegation play-off spot, four points ahead of basement boys Dundee.

Aberdeen are eight points ahead of Callum Davidson’s men, with St Mirren, Motherwell and Ross County a further point in front.

St Johnstone have taken four points from their last six, including a “massive” last-gasp 2-1 win over Motherwell in their last outing.

And, ahead of the visit of Livingston to McDiarmid Park on Saturday, 26-year-old former Dundalk defender Cleary said: “That is the mentality that we have to have, we need to look up and not down.

dan-cleary Former Dundalk defender Dan Cleary. Source: Ciaran Culligan/INPHO

“If you stick a few results together in this league – look at other clubs that were around us, they climbed the table, so hopefully we can do that.

“Everyone can’t wait to get back and push on for the next seven games. Anything is possible, if we keep winning games we can climb the table.

“We have to believe that it is possible that we can stay out of relegation and play-offs. I think it is possible and so do the team.

We are four points ahead, but we just need to take it game by game and get as many points as possible in the next seven games.”

Cleary completed his move to St Johnstone in January and, despite the threat of relegation, he is enjoying life at the Perth club.

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He said: “It was a different sort of feeling around the club to what I have been used to at Dundalk.

“But I came here for the challenge, I was ready for it mentally and I am enjoying the challenge at the minute. Obviously I would like to be in a better position, but that’s where we are at and I think we can definitely climb up the table.

“The gaffer has put a lot of trust in me, starting me in most games. I am loving every minute that I am playing and long may it continue.”

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