Anthony Ralston’s time at St Johnstone couldn’t have started off more disastrously.
The Celtic-owned right-back signed for Saints back in September in a loan deal until the end of the season. Meanwhile, St Johnstone had already failed to win their first four games of the Premiership campaign.
Slotting Ralston in didn’t initially do much for them either. In Ralston’s first five games for the club, Saints suffered three defeats and two draws respectively. Their winless run in the league was up to nine just as recently as one week ago.
However, Ralston has played a key part in their recent renaissance. St Johnstone secured a priceless 3-2 home win against Hamilton to end their drought last weekend. They then followed it up with an impressive 1-0 success at home to Hearts.
Ralston played 90 minutes in both games, and was crucial to his side’s threat down the right side. Against Accies, his energy was telling. He put several terrific balls into the box that Stevie May couldn’t get on the end of.
Back-to-back impressive performances from Ralston
Last night, he was equally as solid against Hearts. Nothing seemed to get by him, as he kept Sean Clare quiet throughout. He also set up a good opportunity for David Wotherspoon, but the Saints midfielder failed to get a clean connection on his cross.
Ralston’s performances have played a key part in St Johnstone getting back into their groove again. What’s been a couple of months of hell when it comes to results finally appears to be over.
He’ll be itching to make his mark this season with Saints too. Perhaps not so much so that he can make an impact at Celtic, but to show other potential suitors that he’s a suitable option and can hack Premiership football.
So far, he’s shown no reason why he can’t. His energy down the right has kept him in Tommy Wright’s team. It’s exactly the loan spell he needed to keep himself developing at a steady pace.
His Celtic chances, of course, are minimal as things stand. With Hatem Abd Elhamed and Jeremie Frimpong signed permanently by the club over the summer, there’s no place for Ralston outside of the fringes of first-team football here. Signed until 2022, of course, Celtic need a viable offer to come in.
But hopefully, he continues his renaissance in form as he looks to continue impressing this season. His loan spell looks to have finally taken a positive turn, and that can only bode well for his future.