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More injury woe for St Johnstone with Nadir Ciftci set for spell on sidelines

Celtic v Leicester City – 2016 International Champions Cup – Celtic Park
(Image credit: Jane Barlow)

St Johnstone manager Callum Davidson was left cursing his luck after recent signing Nadir Ciftci joined a mounting casualty list during the goalless draw with Dundee.

The former Dundee United and Celtic attacker suffered a hamstring strain eight minutes into his home debut as Saints halted an eight-game losing run in the cinch Premiership.

Davidson welcomed a point to stop the rot, with his side bottom of the table and two points below Dundee, but fears Ciftci could be sidelined for weeks.

“Nadir is a big player and that’s what’s happened this season,” he said.

“It didn’t look good when he was walking. I’ve probably torn my hamstring 12 times in my career and that was about four to six weeks, but that’s just me. Fingers crossed it won’t be too long.”

Davidson admitted he will sleep a little easier after ending a tortuous run of losses, capped by a weekend Scottish Cup defeat to Kelty Hearts.

“I thought it was a typical, nervy performance from both teams. Conditions and the pitch didn’t really help,” he said.

“But we asked them for a bit of character, a bit of spirit and an energy level. I thought we got that.

“It means I can sleep tonight a little bit better. That’s about it. It’s just a point but hopefully we can build on it.

“We need to try and progress, get a couple of new faces in, get the confidence back up.”

With neither side capable of finding the cutting edge required to secure three precious points, the Tayside rivals look destined to scrap it out to avoid the automatic-relegation spot.

While chances were few and far between in a dour contest, Dundee boss James McPake welcomed an end to a six-game losing run in the league.

Like Davidson, he was pleased with the work-rate and commitment of his players at windswept McDiarmid.

“It was tough conditions on a tough pitch but the players gave me everything,” he said.

“We lacked a bit in the final third. There wasn’t much in the game. We rolled the sleeves up when we had to.

“St Johnstone are fighting for their lives, just like us. It was two teams battling it out.”

McPake felt new signing Niall McGinn, from Aberdeen, made an impact coming off the bench.

“When Niall came on he looked good and defensively I thought we were excellent,” he said.

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