New boss de­lighted to draw with Celtic

Paisley Daily Express - - Paisley’s Past - Craig Ritchie

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.”

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from UK

© PressReader. All rights reserved.