Neil Lennon knows St Johnstone may very well fancy their chances against out-of-form Celtic at Parkhead on Sunday.
The Hoops go into the game on the back of just two wins from 11 in all competitions following Thursday’s 4-2 Europa League defeat by AC Milan at San Siro, where they raced into an early two-goal lead.
Callum Davidson’s side, by contrast, are unbeaten in their last 10 matches and the Parkhead manager believes they will arrive in confident mood for the Premiership encounter.
Lennon said: “They are on a decent run. Callum Davidson has come in off the back of Tommy (Wright) being there for so long but he knows the club inside out, he knows the players inside out.
“They are always a stodgy opposition to play against and they may feel we are a little bit vulnerable at the minute.
“It doesn’t matter who are we are playing, it is important we try and end this run of draws and defeats as quickly as possible.”
The Scottish champions are out of the Europa League and the Betfred Cup following a 2-0 defeat to Ross County last weekend which brought post-match protests from Hoops fans outside the stadium.
To add to the pressure he is under, Lennon’s side are also 11 points behind Old Firm rivals Rangers at the top of the Premiership, albeit with two games in hand.
The Northern Irishman believes another game played in front of no supporters due to coronavirus restrictions means self-motivation will be required by the players who have been “soul-searching” this week.
The former Celtic captain said: “More than ever players have to motivate themselves and we do our best as a backroom team to motivate the players as best we can.
“There has been a lot of support for me from the players, a lot of soul-searching from themselves over the past couple of days and I thought they were tremendous at times on Thursday night.
“I got the response – I didn’t get the result – but I certainly got the response I was looking for.”