Out-of-sorts St Johnstone aiming to get "teeth right into" Celtic; 'keeper promises fight

By Euan Davidson

December 24, 2021

St Johnstone may be in horrendous form as they await the visit of Celtic, but they sound right up for battling the Bhoys.

The Saints, under last year’s double-winning manager Callum Davidson, have lost their last seven games. After losing some key players in the summer, not least Ali McCann, they’re struggling to develop any sort of positive form in the tough December schedule.

But Elliott Parish, who’s in for injured Zander Clarke, promises that Celtic will have a substantial fight on their hands. Using some questionable imagery, Parish warned Postecoglou and co that Sunday will be a Boxing Day war. He said [Courier]: “Ross County was a real sickener. But I tell you what, we’ll be going really hard at it on Sunday.

Photo by Mark Runnacles/Getty Images

“Let’s get our teeth right into it. We are going to fight like hell.

“And we need those 500 fans behind us. I could hear them do that against Ross County, especially in the second half.

“As a club – players, staff and fans – let’s all pull together now and have a magic second half of the season. It needs to be everyone. They need us and we need them. It’s as simple as that.”

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St Johnstone have fighting spirit, but that will only get them so far against Celtic

Admittedly, St Johnstone were half-decent against Celtic at Hampden in the Premier Sports Cup Semi-Final. We expected it to be something of a battle, and it took some great individual skill and determination to get ourselves past them.

Since then, though, their slide has been incredible. They’ve lost every game since, including defeats to Dundee, Ross County and Motherwell.

Parish, though, is on a one-man mission to scare Celtic into not taking St Johnstone for granted. Admittedly, after the other night’s struggles against St Mirren, who were supposedly depleted by Covid-19, it’s unlikely Celtic would do that anyway.

Photo by Mark Runnacles/Getty Images

We have enough injuries without having to worry about bite marks, though, Elliott.

St Johnstone, as Parish mentioned, do have one advantage of sorts. No Celtic supporters will be at McDiarmid Park on Sunday, owing to new Covid-19 restrictions. With no disrespect intended, 500 probably sounds louder in St Johnstone’s ground than the 60,000-seater Celtic Park. So there’ll be an atmosphere, of sorts.

Nonetheless, it’s a game Celtic should expect to win. We’ve taken care of St Johnstone before, and though we have injuries, so do they.

Either way, it’ll be a battle. So says Elliot Parish, anyway.

Read more: Celtic boss Ange Postecoglou honestly addresses 6-point gap to rivals