Callum Davidson's qualities that inspired St Johnstone's spirited Cup defence in defeat to Celtic

Callum Booth has taken comfort from his own manager’s assertion that St Johnstone’s spirited League Cup defence was beyond criticism.

St Johnstone's Callum Booth and Celtic's Anthony Ralston during a Premier Sports Cup semi-final match between Celtic and St Johnstone at Hampden Park, on November 20, 2021, in Glasgow, Scotland. (Photo by Ross MacDonald / SNS Group)
St Johnstone's Callum Booth and Celtic's Anthony Ralston during a Premier Sports Cup semi-final match between Celtic and St Johnstone at Hampden Park, on November 20, 2021, in Glasgow, Scotland. (Photo by Ross MacDonald / SNS Group)

The left-back reported that Callum Davidson had told the players they had done “as well as we can” to try and keep their hands in the trophy, part of a historic cup-winning double achievement by the Perth side last season.

“It was always going to come to an end at some point unfortunately,” said Booth. “But it was an incredible run in the last two seasons. We have had one defeat now in 16 games which is unbelievable for a club like ours. We have so much to be proud of.

“The gaffer said to us we have defended our cup as well as we can," he added.

Around 3,000 St Johnstone fans took the opportunity to show the players they appreciated their efforts over the last 18 months. The 1-0 defeat to Celtic was St Johnstone's first loss in five visits to the stadium since lifting the trophy against Livingston in February. Saturday was the first time supporters had been allowed in during this run.

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Booth praised Davidson after the team survived a relentless start from Celtic to keep themselves in the game for the entire 90 minutes. Even after James Forrest’s 74th minute winner the Perth side created chances as they peppered the Celtic box with crosses.

“The gaffer has been brilliant since coming back and he is the greatest manager in the club’s history I would imagine,’ said Davidson.

“He sets us up so well and he keeps it simple. We work hard on the training pitch and he always gives us wee pointers.

“His man management is superb and he is so approachable. The biggest compliment is probably the fact the boys who aren’t playing don’t have a bad word to say about him either. Everyone around the place likes him and his coaching and tactics are really good.”

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St Johnstone are now looking to pick themselves up against Hibs this weekend. The Easter Road side have made it through to next month's final after beating Rangers 3-1. “It will be easy to get up for that,” said Booth.

And then, of course, there’s a Scottish Cup to defend later this season.

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