Saints boss always feared late fightback from "fantastic" Celtic despite injury-time equaliser

By Dave Flanigan

October 9, 2022

St Johnstone boss Callum Davidson has revealed that he didn’t celebrate after his side’s injury-time equaliser against Celtic in yesterday’s Scottish Premiership loss because he knew that the a Hoops winner was still possible in the limited seconds remaining.

Celtic edged in front in a tepid first half courtesy of an Andy Considine own-goal from Sead Haksabanovic’s cutback in the box, but it took a last-gasp winner from Giorgos Giakoumakis to seal the points for Ange Postecoglou’s side after Alex Mitchell stabbed the Saints level in added time.

The St Johnstone manager was also hesitant to blame Drey Wright after the winger went down in the build-up to Celtic’s winner, Davidson lamenting his side switching off after offering such admirable resistance for much of the game.

Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images

As reported by The Courier, Davidson said: “I didn’t celebrate the goal because there were still a couple of minutes to go. Drey rolled his ankle but we have to defend better. I thought we stopped a little bit.

“I’ve had it myself. When you roll your ankle the pain is excruciating then it subsides after a couple of minutes, but we had to switch on after that. It’s a sore way to lose.

“I’m gutted for the lads that they didn’t take something from the game.”

Davidson felt that his side had managed to contain Ange Postecoglou’s champions well for much of the game, but also felt that Celtic’s first half opener was preventable.

“In the first half I thought we were tactically really good and the boys worked unbelievably hard. Celtic are a fantastic team and if you open up against them they’ll carve you open. We managed the game pretty well.

“It was a poor time to lose a goal – just before half-time – and our heads could quiet easily have gone down, but we told them that if we stay in the game as long as we can, we’ll get chances.”

“The supporters got behind us and were fantastic – they understood the situation. The substitutes helped us and we had a real go in the second half.”

Photo by Mark Runnacles/Getty Images

Celtic’s win yesterday was their second in two Premiership matches, bouncing back from their 2-0 defeat in Paisley last month with a couple of fraught, but absolutely crucial wins.

With a huge month of fixtures before the World Cup, any dropped points or lost initiative could have a big impact on the title race, so Celtic will be looking to regain some consistency after their almost year-long unbeaten run came to an end at the hands of the Buddies.

After Tuesday’s rematch against Leipzig, Postecoglou’s side face in-form Hibs in Paradise next Saturday as they look to hold onto their two point lead at the summit of the Scottish Premiership.

In other news: Moritz Jenz and Jota Celtic concerns cleared up