St Johnstone boss Callum Davidson calls for McDiarmid Park sell out for Galatasaray return leg

CALLUM DAVIDSON has urged Perth council bosses to allow for a sell out crowd at McDiarmid Park next week for St Johnstone’s return leg against Galatasaray.

Saints put in a stunning display in Turkey as they battled to a 1-1 draw against Fatih Terim’s European giants.

Davidson’s team took the lead through Jason Kerr from the penalty spot before Sacha Boey grabbed an equaliser for 10-man Galatasaray on 60 minutes.

Both teams had chances to win the match in the late stages of the game but the tie remains in the balance ahead of next week’s second leg.

Davidson has now called on Perth and Kinross Council to allow for a capacity crowd to help cheer his team over the line against the Turks.

Speaking at full-time, he said: “This is a special night for St Johnstone. I am pleased to be going back to Perth with the tie still alive – that’s what we wanted to do. 

“We don’t want to kid ourselves, it’s still going to be a really tough ask because they are a quality team. 

“This was a big night for us in terms of the result and the performance, but all we’ve done is give ourselves a little chance to create history. 

“If you’d asked people beforehand what they thought would happen here most would say Galatasaray will score four or five. 

“So if you told someone it would be Galatasaray 1 St Johnstone 1 they’d think you were having a laugh.

“We wanted to get it back to Perth with something to play for and hopefully we will be allowed a full house. 

“It will be a great occasion getting Galatasaray to McDiarmid Park in a tie that is still finely balanced. We want the place to be rocking and to help make it a great European night.”

Reflecting on a hectic 90 minutes of football in Istanbul, Davidson continued: “The atmosphere tonight was electric, we haven’t played in front of a crowd like that in a long time and it sounded like thirty thousand there instead of eight or whatever it was. 

“So we had to get used to that again but once we settled down we were excellent. Galatasaray started so well, but we grew into the game and started to put them under pressure. 

“I still think we can do better on the ball, but that’s me being really critical. I am disappointed with the goal because it was probably the only time we switched off. 

“Reece was superb tonight, though, and it was just one slip but that’s why he’s here – to play competitive football. The lads were tremendous tonight, the shift they put in was incredible. 

“The work rate and energy levels were so good.”

Davidson also singled out midfielder Ali McCann who put in an outstanding shift in the middle of the park.

He beamed: “Ali was phenomenal. He was the one who led us, he drove forward, won the ball back and was all over the pitch. 

“I could name so many of the players so it’s unfair to name people, but Ali was tremendous. You saw again tonight what a good player he is.” 

Captain Jason Kerr was ice cool when he slotted St Johnstone’s penalty and Davidson admits his skipper deserves major credit.

He added: “That’s two out of two for Jason now. I was a bit nervous when he stepped up to take it because we have missed the last two, but he was always confident and it was good to see it hit the back of the net. 

“Chris Kane wanted to take it because he wasn’t on the pitch last weekend when we got one, but Jason wanted it. 

“It’s great that we have people who want to take them in huge games like this and Jason deserved it after his performance. He’s come so far in the last few years so all credit to him.” 

The Herald Scotland

The Herald Scotland

The Herald is a Scottish broadsheet newspaper founded in 1783. The Herald is the longest running national newspaper in the world and is the eighth oldest daily paper in the world. The title was simplified from The Glasgow Herald in 1992