IN a day to forget for Jak Alnwick there was one unlikely memorable moment. The St Mirren keeper was gutted as he walked off 4-0 down at the break but was uplifted by a classy message from Joe Hart.
Alnwick, who accepted blame for a couple of the goals at Celtic Park, has been a key figure for the Buddies but endured a tough afternoon in the east end of Glasgow.
But Hart, who had very little to do, made a point to speak to Alnwick at the break and give him some advice after experiencing similar games himself.
The advice was simple; “Regroup and make saves”.
“I’ve got to pay a lot of respect to Joe Hart”, Alnwick said.
“At half-time he walked over to me and said: ‘regroup and make saves’. I thought that was class from him.
“This is someone who has played at the highest level but someone who has been in the position I was in himself.
“There’s me, as an ex-Rangers player at well – and maybe Celtic fans won’t be happy to hear it – but he knows what it’s like to be in that situation.
“He’s has some massive ups and massive downs throughout his own career. He’s made mistakes in World Cups, Euros, you name it.
“For him to speak to me, I didn’t expect it, but at the same time I wasn’t surprised knowing the type of man he is. I respect Joe Hart so much because of what he did at that moment.
“He didn’t have to do it.
“I was on the end of a tough first-half and I knew myself I would have a difficult 45 minutes after we came back out.
“But I ended up making a couple of the best saves I’ve made since coming to St Mirren. There was one I made with my foot when I was going the wrong way.
“I knew at half-time we were never going to win the game but I didn’t want it to get embarrassing where we come away with a 10-0 defeat.”
The comprehensive defeat at the hands of Ange Postecoglou’s side was just the final blow in a difficult couple of days for St Mirren, starting with manager Jim Goodwin testing positive for Covid.
The Buddies missed out on a goal for themselves in the first-half when Curtis Main’s strike was flagged offside, but in reality the match looked over from the minute Alan Power was sent off.
“It was tough all round”, Alnwick added.
“Every aspect of the game was hard on the boys.
“Going from the gaffer getting Covid to the bad start and then the red card, it felt like everything that could go wrong did go wrong.
“When you look at it, Main’s goal was onside.
“But I thought every little decision went against us – which when you come to places like this tends to happen.”
On Power’s sending off for a late and reckless tackle, Alnwick said: “Alan is devastated about it.
“I haven’t seen it back but I know he doesn’t touch the boy. That’s what Alan said and I asked one of their lads and he didn’t know if he’d touched him either.
“It’s a hard one to take.
“You could maybe stay it was reckless but if there is no contract I’d say it’s a difficult one to take.”