First Team

Robbie hails Callum

5th November 2016

Robbie Neilson praises Callum Paterson for securing point against St Johnstone.

Robbie Neilson praised his side’s character as they responded to a late blow when going behind against St Johnstone to bounce back and claim a point.

Leading 1-0 thanks to a Prince Buaben header, the Jambos then found themselves behind with three minutes remaining, but Callum Paterson’s late header levelled the match.

After the game, the head coach conceded he was disappointed not to win, but hailed the spirit the team showed in refusing to be beaten.

“The match was a bit hectic,” admitted Robbie. “I didn’t think the game was lost, because it was that kind of game where we knew we’d get another chance.

“The second half became a bit of a slog for both sides, and it wasn’t very entertaining, football-wise. I didn’t think it was a great game, but i’m glad we had that chance fall to Callum.”

There was an air of controversy over the St Johnstone goal that put the Perth side into the lead, as Chris Kane’s effort rolled past Jack Hamilton, whose vision was impaired by the offside Steven MacLean.

“MacLean is in line with Jack Hamilton,” he explained. “He’s made a movement to get out of the way, if he doesn’t, Jack just picks the ball up, so he’s put Jack off completely. In my opinion, it’s offside, but it’s not been given.”

Finally, the head coach stated that he was concerned about scoring five goals in the past two matches without a victory, admitting his strikers and defence needed work but he did single out goalscorer Paterson for praise ahead of the full-back’s Scotland bow against England on Friday.

“It’s pleasing to come from behind again, but that’s five goals we’ve scored in the past two games and we’ve only taken two points. We’re still creating chances, but if we’re not taking them, we’re in trouble.

“Callum Paterson is our main threat right now. He’s a big threat from set pieces and open play, but we need to get into our stride striking-wise now.

“Hopefully Callum plays against England. I’d want him in the box at set-pieces, and I’d back him to get a goal no matter who he’s up against.”