St Johnstone man shares the texts between him and key Celtic player
Resurgent Celtic player Anthony Ralston may have only spent a short spell on loan with St Johnstone, but he remains close with today’s opposition.
Ralston, who made his first appearance for Scotland on Monday, played 24 times for the Saints [Transfermarkt].
And, according to former team-mate Liam Gordon, Ralston was following his former loan side’s cup runs with interest last season. The right-back will face his former colleagues in the Premier Sports Cup this evening at Hampden.
In today’s Scottish Daily Mail [print edition, 20/11/21, p. 115], Gordon said:
“Last season when we were on our cup runs, Anthony was one of the people sending messages saying “well done” and things like that. Fair play to him, he’s flying for Celtic but hopefully he’s not doing well this weekend.
“I have a lot of respect for him and it’s great to see what he’s done this season at Celtic, for him and for his family.
“He deserves it. He’s taken his chance when it’s come along. He got the opportunity and hasn’t let it slip by — he’s really kicked on. It has been brilliant and I have been delighted for him because he’s a really good guy.
“It’s always good to see an ex-teammate go on to big things. When he was here he was a brilliant professional, he worked hard and gave his all for St Johnstone. As a loan player that’s all you can ask of someone coming in so we are all really happy for him.”
Former St Johnstone loanee Anthony Ralston could be key for Celtic today
For Celtic, the full-backs will be absolutely pivotal today. As Michael Stewart pointed out, wide play is St Johnstone’s strength. In recent times, defending it has been Celtic’s weakness.
Without the aerial presence of Carl Starfelt available today, no doubt St Johnstone manager Callum Davidson will try to target Celtic in the air. A big part of the solution, though, is cutting out the supply. That’s where Anthony Ralston will be at his most important.
Ralston, of course, has been exceptional this season. On the big occasions, specifically in Europe, he’s looked more than comfortable. It’s been a remarkable turn-around for him.
Much of his progress is, naturally, down to St Johnstone and the time he spent on loan there. Albeit, he’s twice the player now that he was in Perth.
Putting paid to his former team’s efforts on the flanks is going to be extremely important. Not only that, slotting into midfield and helping Celtic overrun St Johnstone in the middle will be crucial to how the Bhoys do.
It’s a big game for Ralston. They all are.
But now we know that he doesn’t forget what it took to get to where he is. He’ll have had a keen eye on how St Johnstone got on in the cups. As we know, he wished them well.
Well, he won’t have been sending similar texts today.
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