St Johnstone need to 'put it right' when they face Rangers, says Steven MacLean

Steven MacLean scores
Steven MacLean scored St Johnstone's equaliser in a 1-1 draw with Rangers last season
Scottish Premiership: St Johnstone v Rangers
Venue: McDiarmid Park Date: Friday, 13 October Kick-off: 19:45 BST
Coverage: Listen on BBC Radio Scotland; live text commentary on BBC Sport website

Striker Steven MacLean says the St Johnstone players need to make amends for losing their last game against Aberdeen when they face Rangers.

The Perth side lost 3-0 to the Dons before the international break, but MacLean believes they can restore their pride against Rangers on Friday night.

"Coming off the back of a bad result against Aberdeen, it's important that we put it right," MacLean said.

"We know we can turn over the likes of Rangers or whoever we're playing."

St Johnstone are currently fourth in the Premiership, level on points with third-place Rangers, and MacLean believes the Perth side are in the top six again on merit.

The 35-year-old acknowledges the greater financial strength of Rangers, and the two sides above them - Aberdeen and Celtic - but insists St Johnstone can still compete against Pedro Caixinha's side at McDiarmid Park.

"We've done well at times [against Rangers] and there are times we could've done better as well," MacLean said.

"When you play against the top teams, you've got to score when you're on top. They're going to have their spells in the game, so it's important that we defend well when they have their spell and we come out the other end and take our chances when we get them.

Steven MacLean and Gavin Rae
MacLean started his career with Rangers and made three appearances for the Ibrox side

"We shouldn't be [in the mix with Rangers for finishing second, third or fourth] but we are because of the group we've got - the management and the players as well. We're a good club, we've got good players and we probably overachieve.

"There'll be no change on Friday night. When we cross that white line we'll be looking for the three points and we'll be going toe-to-toe with them and we'll not be giving them an inch."

MacLean came through the youth ranks at Ibrox, making three first-team appearances before leaving for Sheffield Wednesday.

Rangers signed 13 players during Caixinha's summer rebuilding, and MacLean believes some of them will still be adjusting to the level of expectation at Ibrox.

"They've gone through the rebuilding process and Pedro's spent a lot of money in the summer, so he'll be expected to do well," MacLean added.

"Whether they're at the stage they want to be yet is a different matter. With the money that he's spent, he's probably not done as well as they thought they would have.

"They've improved. It'll be a difficult game for us. They've obviously got quality in their squad. Graham Dorrans is a good player, the boy [Alfredo] Morelos is scoring goals up front and obviously they've brought in the two centre-halves as well. They've definitely got quality, but we can get at them and there's goals against them as well.

"They probably won't realise what the goldfish bowl is in Glasgow and what the fans expect and what they have to achieve. The fans expect to win every game and expect to get to finals of cups and win cups. They soon realise once they play in front of 50,000 every week.

"You've got to embrace it and you've got to enjoy it, to play at such a level."

Top Stories