TODAY’S 2-0 win at McDiarmid Park was well deserved but cam with a not inconsiderable price for the Champions.
Injuries to Mikael Lustig, Odsonne Edouard and James Forrest and a suspension for a last minute red card issued by Willie Collum to Kristoffer Ajer means that Brendan Rodgers will have to shuffle the pack for the midweek match against Hibs at Celtic Park.
“It was an eventful game that way,” the Celtic manager noted afterwards while talking to Sky Sports.
“James felt tightness in his hamstring and it was too big a risk for him, so we had to take him off and played that last 12 minutes or so with 10 men.
“Odsonne when you watch it, he’s just got the studs right on the front of his foot so that’s a real sore one but Timothy came on and made a huge impact, like he can do.
“He’s a wonderful kid, comes in and creates a goal. I think the last goal shows the desire of the team if you watch Callum McGregor and Scotty Sinclair.
“Timothy gives us that great enthusiasm for the game. He’s very natural in his play and his movement and touch for the first goal was fantastic.
“We’ve got options and we’ve got players coming back. I think that shows the strength of the squad.”
Respectful as ever – he’s a class act is our Brendan – the Celtic manager was quick to acknowledge the excellent defensive performance from today’s hosts.
“They worked so hard. They’re brave players at St Johnstone and it was a game where we had to keep working. I thought we did that throughout the game.
“The first half we got done a couple of times on the counter-attacks which was unlike us. Our positioning wasn’t quite right so they broke away a couple of times.
“The second half possession was better and gradually we worked them and got our two goals. It was a fantastic win for us,” Brendan concluded, happy with the three points that restores Celtic’s lead at the top of the table to 6 points.
With Kilmarnock losing at home to Hearts on Friday evening, the trend we’ve seen of the teams challenging behind Celtic dropping points continues. On Wednesday Celtic can look to take care of Hibs – who lost at home to Aberdeen yesterday – and then have a look at the big scoreboard at Celtic Park to see what happened at Pittodrie where the Dons take on the Rangers – so something must give there.
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