Ex-Rangers star with 90 league appearances claims he’s the perfect man to save St Johnstone

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St Johnstone are looking for a new manager to replace Steven MacLean after a winless start to the season

Former Rangers midfielder Dean Shiels has spoken about his desire to manage in Scotland and insists he has the skill set required to save a struggling St Johnstone side from relegation - if he gets the job.

Shiels spent four years of his playing career at Rangers from 2012 to 2016 and was a member of the team which climbed from the Scottish Third Division back into the Scottish Premiership.

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The Northern Irish midfielder lifted the Scottish Third Division, Scottish League One and Scottish Championship titles within a four year period and also tasted success in the Scottish Challenge Cup. He also enjoyed spells with the likes of Hibernian, Doncaster Rovers and Kilmarnock during a 14-year playing career which ended in 2018.

Shiels has since translated his experience into football management and his most recent role saw him guide Northern Irish outfit Dungannon Swifts to safety in the top-flight.

The 38-year-old reflects fondly on his first stint in management and claims it has given him a platform to translate those skills into Scottish football.

Speaking of the prospect of the St Johnstone job, he told Sun Sport: “I got my first job with Dungannon in 2021 and they were in a similar situation to St Johnstone.

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“They were working on a limited budget and because I had no money to spend, I used youth and academy players in the first team. But I kept them up, we doubled our points tally from the previous season, and scored twice as many goals.

“Most of the teams in the Irish Premiership used this really ugly, long-ball game, but we played out from the back and kept the ball on the deck.

“A move back to Scotland would be ideal.”

The ex-Gers midfielder claims he has spoken to a number of Scottish football clubs in recent weeks, but is yet to receive an offer.

Shiels is one of the main contenders to take on the St Johnstone job, while other notable candidates include Scott Brown, Billy Dodds, Robbie Neilson, Graham Alexander, Ian Murray and David Healy.

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St Johnstone are winless in the Scottish Premiership with four draws and five defeats from their opening nine games.

The Saints play host to sixth place Motherwell in their next match with Alexander Clealand taking charge of proceedings on an interim basis.

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