"That's the message"; What St Johnstone boss is telling his players about Celtic

By David Walton

November 18, 2021

St Johnstone manager Callum Davidson has confirmed that he’ll be hammering home the message of the pressure being on Celtic this weekend.

The Hoops will come up against the Premier Sports Cup holders on Saturday evening in the semi-final of this year’s competition. St Johnstone currently hold both cup competitions after a sensational campaign last term.

Therefore, there could be an increased element of pressure on them this time around. Especially given how used to Hampden they managed to become last year.

Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images

However, Davidson has confirmed the kind of message he’ll hammer home to his players as he outlined the importance of belief heading into it. As quoted by the Courier, the Saints boss said: “We are the underdogs. Celtic are deservedly the favourites for this game. So, for me, the pressure is on them. If they win, well, that’s what should happen. It’s expected.

“The pressure is off us in that respect. Outside of our group, anyway – because we really, really want to go and win this one. If we have a bit of luck and work extremely hard, do the basics well, we can get the result.

“It’s about making sure the players have the belief they can win the game. I believe we can if we do things right. That’s the message I will get across to them.”

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St Johnstone have absolutely no reason to go into Saturday’s clash fearing Ange Postecoglou’s side. After snatching a 1-1 draw at Celtic Park last season, Davidson will have his team believing they can frustrate the Hoops and get a result.

Of course, it would be ignorant to forget the fact that this is a new Celtic side. Under new management too. St Johnstone have already come to Parkhead and lost 2-0 this term.

Yet whilst the game itself was comfortable enough, it did take until the 80th minute to wrap things up from the penalty spot. And let’s not forget it was a game in which we were expected to win handsomely. That only goes to show just how stubborn St Johnstone can be.

Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images

They’ll have grown accustomed to Hampden after last year. 4 visits there under Davidson is an incredible stat for a club of the Perthshire men’s size. But there’ll be absolutely zero fear factor. Not when they managed to go to Ibrox last season and knock Rangers out.

Not to mention Celtic have as many 9 first-team players returning from international duty this week. Saints will do their utmost to exploit any tiredness, even if they are suffering from major injury setbacks of their own.

It should make for an intriguing game this weekend. Having the Bhoys back after the internationals always gets supporters hyped up. Hopefully we get a performance to match the occasion.

In other news, Davie Provan slams Dermot Desmond; calls for fan representation on Celtic board