St Johnstone manager Callum Davidson left Celtic Park heavily impressed on Tuesday
St Johnstone boss Callum Davidson has admitted that he was at Celtic Park on Tuesday and was left extremely impressed with the Hoops’ attacking flair.
Celtic managed to overrun Ferencvaros in a big Europa League win in Glasgow. An opener from Kyogo Furuhashi was followed by a bizarre Balint Vecsei own goal as the Hoops got their European campaign up and running.
However, to an extent, it was a game of 2 halves. Celtic came out in the opening 45 and produced far too slow a tempo to hurt the Hungarian champions. But after an important message from the manager at the break, they produced a sparkling 2nd half display that could’ve saw them win by 4 or 5 goals on another afternoon.
And as Celtic prepare to host St Johnstone on Saturday, Davidson has admitted he left Parkhead impressed with what the Hoops had to offer. As quoted by the Daily Record [print edition, 21/10, page 54], Davidson said: “I was at the Celtic game and had the afternoon off work! But of course, I was still working, looking at Celtic ahead of Saturday’s game.
“I’ve watched them a lot this season. They’ve got a different style. As a coach, it’s nice to look at and makes you wonder how to solve it. When you play against teams like Celtic it’s about doing the basics well. You try to deny space to them and keep them quiet.
“But their attacking style of football was really good. The through ball from Jota for the first was magnificent. If you look at a textbook counter-attack goal that was the one – the movement was fantastic, great ball, great first touch, great finish. All round very good.”
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Callum Davidson full of admiration for Celtic attack
Davidson’s comments tell you all you need to know. He was a neutral observer and even he couldn’t help but laud Celtic’s attacking play against Ferencvaros.
The most exciting part about it all is what the score really could’ve been come full-time. On another night, we’re genuinely talking 4-0 at least. After all, we had the penalty miss as well as David Turnbull and Jota one-v-one opportunities all spurned. It could easily have been a rout as we blew the Hungarians away.
Of course, the trick is to keep it going. Davidson will be trying to come up with something to ensure his St Johnstone team stifle the game at Parkhead on Saturday. It’s a thankless task against a front 3 of Kyogo, Jota, and Liel Abada. But we know better than to underestimate Davidson’s Saints side.
It’s important to remember just how much they’ve improved themselves over the last 12 months under his stewardship. There’s the obvious League Cup and Scottish Cup succcesses. However, you also have their impressive displays in Europe this season too.
Saints were highly competitive against both Galatasaray and LASK in the Europa and Europa Conference League qualifiers respectively. They know how to shut bigger teams down – it’s been their specialty under Davidson. You could argue if there’s one team in Scotland that would be able to find a way to stifle your flair players, it’s Davidson’s men.
Let’s see how Postecoglou’s Bhoys deal with that kind of pressure on Saturday.