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Callum Davidson urges St Johnstone to maintain momentum in survival battle

Callum Davidson File Photo
(Image credit: Andrew Milligan)

Callum Davidson has told his St Johnstone relegation battlers to adopt a step-by-step mindset to climb clear of the drop zone.

Davidson was baffled by referee Colin Steven’s decision to send off Swedish midfielder Melker Hallberg in the goalless draw with Dundee United.

Davidson, who was booked for dissent, was not convinced Hallberg merited a second caution nine minutes into the second half for impeding rival midfielder Ian Harkes in the build-up before Tony Watt’s shot was deflected for a corner.

But the Perth manager was delighted with the reaction of his players who held firm for 36 minutes, with a share of the spoils easing them one point clear of bottom side Dundee.

Saints find themselves seven points from safety going into a midweek clash with St Mirren, with 10th placed Ross County winning at Dundee.

“That’s five points from the last three games which is a real positive,” said Davidson.

“Seven or eight games ago we might have lost that game. The point could be massive. Results didn’t go our way but it is all about us and what we do.

“We want to keep building momentum. There are a lot of big games coming up. We are looking forward and I thought the backing of the fans was brilliant.”

Ex-Saint Watt hit the outside of the post with a rare second-half opportunity as United struggled to break down a well-marshalled Perth rearguard.

In the first-half, home midfielder Ali Crawford struck the crossbar from 12 yards after being teed-up by Hallberg.

United fans gave voice to their frustration at the full-time whistle, despite seeing their team edge into the top six in advance of a home clash with Motherwell.

“The frustration is there for me, for the players even more so,” said United manager Tam Courts, who also had to settle for a goalless draw in the City of Discovery derby clash with Dundee before heading for McDiarmid.

“But though we are bitterly disappointed, the key thing for me is understanding as long as we peak at the right time, that is what matters.

“We have total respect for St Johnstone. They doggedly fought for their point.

“We need to turn the points we have gained this week into a valuable three on Wednesday and get through in the Scottish Cup on Saturday (against Partick Thistle).

“That would cap a really good fortnight for us.”

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