New boss delighted to draw with Celtic
New Saints manager Oran Kearney heralded his side for handing him “near enough” the perfect start to life in the Paisley dugout.
St Mirren fought tooth and nail across the 90 minutes to secure a point with champions Celtic on a night to remember for the home support.
The Northern Irishman cut an enthusiastic figure on the touchline throughout the tie as his Buddies clearly bought into his game plan throughout.
And although Saints were unable to break the deadlock against the 10 men of Celtic, Kearney was delighted with the attitude of the side.
He said: “The point is a massive point and one that we absolutely wanted and delighted to have.
“The key thing is that we wanted a performance first and foremost and the manner of the way the players went about their business tonight was something I was delighted with.
“You could say it was almost the perfect start.
“Playing Celtic with 10 men for a half was no different than with 11 men as far as I’m concerned.
“They dominate the ball so much and they are so good with the ball we knew it was going to be tough in the final period.
“When you get to that stage, you deserve those calls because of the effort and the endeavour they put in tonight.”
Kearney was handed a standing ovation before and after the game as the St Mirren support turned out in their numbers to back their new boss.
And he thanked the fans for their support throughout the game in what was near enough a sell-out at the Simple Digital Arena.
He added: “The fans were fantastic for us.
“They really played their part. From the first whistle, they really got behind us.
“We were tiring a little bit towards the end, but the backing they gave the players really gave us a second wind.”
And the Saints gaffer reserved special mention for debutant Anton Ferdinand, who made his debut in the heart of defence.
“He showed flashes of what he’s all about”, Kearney beamed. “You could see his anticipation and how well he reads the game.
“He is a real organiser and you could see his experience with the way he helped all the other players around him.
“He was a real calming influence for us – worth his weight in gold.”