Sep 10 2010 by Gordon Bannerman, Perthshire Advertiser Friday
CANADIAN summer signing Marcus Haber is relishing his introduction to life in the SPL.
But he was a worried man when he collided with midfielder Murray Davidson at Ibrox.
Out of luck Davidson had to cry-off from the two Scotland U21 games after being concussed.
The young Scot was knocked out against Rangers and had to be carried off on a stretcher after their accidental collision, while hardy Haber escaped unscathed.
Yesterday, the striker said: “I think Murray’s temple hit my shoulder blade. At the time I wasn’t even sure if I had done the damage.
“It was a real worry when I realised Murray was down and not moving a whole lot. I’m glad he is alright and ready to play against Motherwell.
“We’ve been unfortunate with injuries recently but I suppose it’s part of the game. It gives other guys a chance to step in and do a job. We have a good group here.”
The St Johnstone striker thrived against Rangers at Ibrox but now has his sights trained on Motherwell as Perth fans look forward to their first SPL win of the season.
Haber said: “It’s been great so far. I think I’ve settled in well since coming to Scotland. It’s been everything I thought it would be.
“It’s been fast-paced and up-tempo. That’s the way I like it. Against Rangers, I had to keep their central defenders busy for 90 minutes and I like using my pace to get in behind defences, especially on the counter attack. It has been really positive so far.
“Ibrox was a great stadium and the attendance was nearly 50,000. That’s the biggest crowd I’ve ever played in front of. As a player you feed off that atmosphere even if the fans aren’t your own.
“We handled that game well and were really unlucky not to take a point from Rangers.
“Points are important and of course we want a win under our belts, especially at home. We will be looking to take three points this weekend.
“I’m always looking to be dangerous and to score goals. But it’s all about winning as a team.”
Haber (21), on loan from West Brom for the season, wasn’t called-up into the Canadian squad but it’s not causing him sleepless nights.
He said: “That’s not something on my plate right now. If it comes along that would be great but I have to perform well for St Johnstone.”
Manager Derek McInnes is hoping defender Dave Mackay will return against Motherwell tomorrow. He played against Hearts on opening day with a broken bone in his back but has been laid-up ever since.
McInnes said: “Dave played for an hour in a bounce game against Kilmarnock that we lost 2-0. He has suffered no ill effects and we will assess him again as we look towards the team for Saturday. I want to be fair to him because he hasn’t really played since the trip to Ireland.”
Liam Craig is out but could return against St Mirren next weekend but Jody Morris and Chris Millar have benefited from the international break. That leaves keeper Peter Enckelman as the biggest doubt. He sat out the bounce game to protect his thigh injury and could be on the bench.
Long-term injury victims Martin Hardie and Peter MacDonald are set to return to training next week and Kevin Moon will be a month behind them. Hardie might even play in a bounce game.
McInnes wants a win tomorrow which will hoist Saints off the foot of the table and he said: “It is a very important game for us and hopefully everyone will be pulling together as we did last season, on and off the park.
“We got plaudits without results early on last season and this time I think we have been more solid. But there is room for improvement.
“We have had a tough start in terms of fixtures but now we have home games against Motherwell, St Mirren and Queen of the South and we want to make them count.”