St Johnstone goalkeeper Zander Clark will have ‘without doubt’ caught the eye of Steve Clarke, says Callum Davidson

CALLUM DAVIDSON has called for Scotland recognition for his goalkeeper Zander Clark after his stunning display against Motherwell. 

The 29-year-old pulled off a string of world class saves as Saints and the Steelmen drew 1-1 in the second Scottish Premiership clash of the season. 

A Stephen O’Donnell own goal gave the hosts the lead at McDiarmid Park before Tony Watt struck in the second period to ensure that the points were shared. 

Davidson was disappointed that his team failed to deliver the three points, but he knew if it wasn’t for his goalkeeper, then Saints could have been behind by a couple of goals early doors. 

Steve Clarke was in attendance in the Fair City, and asked if his goalkeeper will have put himself in the Scotland boss’ mind, Davidson responded: “Without a doubt. What Zander probably doesn’t get credit for is his kicking.  

HeraldScotland:

“He’s very good with the ball at his feet. I thought today you saw that. His all round performance was tremendous. 

 “He pulled out saves when he had to, kicked well when he had to. That’s how he’s been playing for the last six months so long may it continue for me, and if he gets a call up then that’s brilliant too. 

 “He followed on from his performance in Istanbul. That’s what he’s in the team for. If I flip it round, my strikers and forward players got into good areas, and we need to take our chances. 

“I think it’s really important when you’re playing at that level Sunday and Thursday. At that intensity, I think you’ve got to do a bit better in front of goal.” 

Despite Clarke having to dig Saints out a hole on a couple of occasions in the first half, the home side created a number of opportunities themselves, which they should have done better with. 

Stevie May, Hayden Muller and David Wotherspoon all had efforts and it was latter who ultimately made the breakthrough in proceedings. 

Glenn Middleton, who joined on loan from Rangers this week, linked up with Wotherspoon from a short corner, before the former Hibs man curled a teasing ball into the back post. 

Muller blocked the view of the retreating O’Donnell and the ball ultimately ended up in his own net. 

Davidson continued: “For the neutral, it was probably a good, entertaining game. I thought there were chances at both ends and I thought we probably dominated possession territorially but not taking our chances. 

“Zander has pulled off a couple of great saves to keep us in the lead, but for me, the disappointing thing was in the last 10 minutes. We tried to take a quick throw in and five seconds later it’s 1-1. 

“For me, that’s a little side of it. See games out, slow it down, take your time. I know we wanted to score the second to make it easier but 1-0 up with 10 minutes to go, I expect us to be a little bit better there.” 

Captain Jason Kerr missed Sunday’s game due to an ankle knock that was picked up against Galatasaray in the first leg of Europa League qualifying. 

But Davidson hopes his skipper will be back in contention for the return leg at McDiarmid this coming week. 

He explained: “Hopefully Jason will be okay. He just rocked his ankle on Thursday. We just need to see how it settles down. Craig Bryson is obviously on the way to recovery. We’re not far off a full squad.” 

Tony Watt made an instant impact when he was introduced from the bench against his former club and the ex-Celtic man impressed his boss Graham Alexander. 

In an honest assessment on proceedings, he said: “On general play a draw was probably a fair result but on the chances we created — and the saves Zander Clark had to make — we are a bit gutted we did not take all three points. 

“Did I think it was going to be one of those days with Zander in that kind of form? You can think like that or you can keep going and that’s what my team did.  

“We kept knocking on the door, we kept throwing punches and we deservedly got an equaliser. But Zander was on top of his game today and it took a very good goal to get past him. It was a very composed finish by Tony Watt.” 

Asked if there was more to come from his team, Alexander added: “I think there’s more to come from us. We’ve got players who have been out for a year, players who have been out for five months, we have new players who haven’t played a pre-season game at their former club. 

“You could see in spells we lacked that fluidity but it’s a work in progress. I know what these players are capable of but I need them to realise what they are capable of as well.” 

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