Callum Davidson says Shaun Rooney will be a key player for St Johnstone

The defender scored the equaliser at Dens Park on Saturday against Dundee.

By Press Association Published: 24 April 2022 - 9.05am

Callum Davidson believes Shaun Rooney will prove to be a key player for St Johnstone between now and the end of the season.

The defender scored the equaliser against Dundee at Dens Park on Saturday to secure a precious point as Saints try to claw their way clear of the relegation play-off spot.

St Johnstone have narrowed the gap on St Mirren and Aberdeen, who are directly above them in the cinch Premiership table, to five points.

Saints face the Buddies at McDiarmid Park next week and Davidson is looking for Rooney – who had an operation on a long-term ankle problem in February – to drive the team on once more.

Davidson said: “We have missed him this season especially in both boxes. I thought his second-half performance was excellent.

“I also thought he led the group and I am delighted he got the goal. He is going to be a valuable player for us in the next four games.”

Saints were a goal behind and second best to a fired-up Dundee side at half-time on Saturday but Davidson revealed there were no harsh words from him at the interval.

The former Scotland defender said: “I told them to just relax and to move the ball quicker. That was the message, it wasn’t a kick up the backside.”

Davidson admitted that his players were caught in two minds after equalising.

They knew that a draw would keep them five points clear of bottom-of-the-table Dundee with just four games left while going for the win that would all-but send the Dark Blues down could come back to haunt them.

Davidson said: “We lost a really poor goal, then after that we had a lot of possession but we struggled to break them down.

“We didn’t move the ball quickly enough. Second half the tempo and the passing was better – there was more energy.

“Our football was excellent and we deservedly got back into the game. After that it was a little bit like, ‘do you want the point or do you want the three points?’.

“It was a really hard one. I think you could sense a bit of hesitation from my players there.

“But we are delighted with the courage and character they showed especially after going 1-0 down.

“They could have collapsed and we weren’t finding a way through Dundee once they sat in but we managed to in the second half and credit to them.”

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