If Hearts can beat Rangers then why can’t St Johnstone get the better of Celtic?
That will be the mindset of the Perth players for tonight’s clash with the league leaders, according to defender Liam Gordon.
Confidence is high in the Saints camp on the back of their weekend victory against Kilmarnock, and their up-turn in form over a sustained period.
Celtic might be the best side in the country but they aren’t unbeatable, Gordon insisted. And what happened at Tynecastle can happen at McDiarmid Park.
“You just have to look at Sunday,” he said. “The bottom team has beaten the second top one.
“Anything can happen at the moment.
“The Hearts result shows that you should never write off any game.
“It’s 11 against 11 and any game you go into you have to think you can take something from it.
“Sunday reminded everybody that. We’ll be looking to do the same against Celtic.
“You always expect Celtic to come out all guns blazing. They’ve done that very well against us in the past.
“Rangers losing was a big one and will have given them even greater incentive to beat us.
“We’re well aware of that but we’re feeling confident going into the game.
“Whoever is chosen to play up front for Celtic you know you are going to be up against top quality.
“But it’s nothing we can’t handle.”
There is a good chance manager Tommy Wright will again use the three-at-the-back system that served his side so well on Saturday.
“We’ve played it before,” said Gordon. “Not this season but the season before. So we were able to adapt.
“It wasn’t a gamble but it was something new for this season and I thought the manager got it right.
“It suited us really well. The wing-backs were finding space and getting crosses into the box. That was obviously where the goals came from.
“Scott (Tanser) really enjoyed it and Drey (Wright) was getting joy down the right before he went off.
“At times I don’t think Kilmarnock knew what to do.”
Gordon added: “It was massive win for us. We needed it, especially after losing on Wednesday night.
“We were disappointed that we didn’t pick up anything from the game at Livingston.
“We knew how important beating Kilmarnock was to get ourselves moving up the table. Going level with Kilmarnock was a huge incentive as well.”
The Hearts result has provided inspiration for tonight but it has also ensured that only six points cover six teams.
‘Tight’ doesn’t really do the bottom half of the Premiership table justice at the moment.
“We didn’t panic when we were bottom,” said Gordon. “I’ve said all along that I thought this would happen.
“Even when results weren’t going for us early in the season there were enough good performances.
“We stuck together to get through the hard times. It’s got better and hopefully and can get even better yet as the season goes on.
“Nobody thinks we’re out of trouble, though.”
Gordon insisted that the day one horror show at Parkhead won’t be in the Saints players’ minds this evening.
“It can’t really get much worse than starting the season with a 7-0 loss,” he said.
“I missed it through injury and maybe it dented confidence for a wee bit. But we’ve made amends and we’re on the up now.”
This will be the first game with three of the McDiarmid stands filled with away supporters. That won’t bother the home side, though.
“I’ve not really thought about it,” Gordon admitted. “It’s just a football match to me.
“I’d rather play in front of 10,000 than seeing empty seats, even though their fans will out-number ours.
“It was the right decision by the club.
“The positive when you’re playing the big clubs with a big crowd behind them is that if you stay in the game, it can go against them.
“We’ll be looking to do that tomorrow night and hopefully nick something.”
Murray Davidson and Drey Wright are injured, while Anthony Ralston can’t play against his parent club. Michael O’Halloran could return.