St Johnstone loan star Glenn Middleton was a frustrated spectator last weekend as the Saints narrowly lost out to Middleton’s parent club Rangers 2-1 at McDiarmid Park and the Scotland under-21 ace admits there was plenty of opportunities for him to learn despite being stuck in the stand as Callum Davidson’s side went toe-to-toe with the champions.
Middleton returned to Perth on loan earlier this summer after writing his name in St. Johnstone folklore as one of the Cup double winners of 2020/21 and the winger admits his enforced absence was a good chance for him to reflect on an impressive start to the campaign.
With a trip to Pittodrie to face Aberdeen this weekend looming, Middleton is back in contention for a starting berth against the Dons after a chance to recharge his batteries following the internationals which saw him scoring for Scotland as they kicked off their Euro under-21 Championship qualifying campaign.
“Obviously I’d love to keep playing, everyone wants to be playing every week, but I spoke to my family about it and it was a nice way to reflect on how I’ve been doing in the season so far,” Middleton said.
“It was an opportunity to watch the team and the manager’s obviously got a different game-plan for every game so, for me to have a backseat and look at how he sets his team up, I can learn from that as well. I was watching how the forwards were playing and if the manager wants to play like that again this season then I’m not a stranger to it.
“Of course, everyone wants to play but I feel like I’m more than ready to play again this weekend.”
While the 21-year-old is still seen as a young player making his way at Rangers, he’s very much a fully-fledged part of the first-team at St. Johnstone and Middleton confessed that is something that gives him the confidence to go out and deliver on the park.
The Northampton-born star isn’t short of confidence in his ability, without being cocky about it, and insists that being viewed as a more senior player in the McDiarmid Park squad isn’t something that he should be worried about.
“It gives me confidence more than anything,” Middleton added. “I’ve always tried to back myself as much as possible when I’m on the pitch and to be given that opportunity here is massive and I’m grateful for that.
“As long as I can take that confidence into games every week, there’s no reason I should be nervous with that different tag around my name. I feel more than confident enough to show I’m good enough to have that name.”
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