The circumstances were far from ideal for Jamie McCart’s St Johnstone debut.
But fellow centre-back Liam Gordon believes his new team-mate passed the stiffest of tests with flying colours.
Having barely trained at McDiarmid Park after his arrival from Inverness Caledonian Thistle, the defender was thrown on at half-time against Celtic for a damage limitation exercise after the league leaders had built up a 3-0 lead.
No further goals were conceded with McCart on the pitch, though.
And Gordon was impressed with what he saw.
“Jamie came on and did well for the 45 minutes,” he said. “He got a clean- sheet and we need to put another run of them together.
“Hopefully Jamie can be a really positive signing for us and help to improve the squad.
“I played against him when he was younger at Celtic and he was always someone I thought was a good player.
“He has gone to Inverness and done well. He’s only been in for a couple of days’ training and we couldn’t do too much because of the snow.
“But he went out on Wednesday night and was composed on the ball. His organisation was good as well, talking to myself and Jason Kerr.
“I thought the three of us worked really well together. Hopefully it’s something we can look forward to in the future.”
Gordon added: “Any competition is good for the squad and I want the best players here. If it’s someone in my position, I welcome the chase.
“I’ll fight every day for the jersey on a Saturday. Nobody likes to get comfortable so you want someone breathing down your neck.
“That only makes you a better player so Jamie arriving is great for me and for the squad.
“Everyone needs a wake-up call at times. If that means bringing in new players, then that is great.
“If we weren’t able to bring anyone else in I still think we have a good enough squad to push on and get up the table.”
Looking back on a torrid half-hour that put Wednesday night’s game out of their reach, Gordon said: “If we got carved open by all the goals then you put your hands up. But I felt that all three goals were preventable.
“That is the most frustrating part from our point of view but we need to take positives with how we came out in the second half.
“They are so sharp, technical and if you make a mistake you get punished. They pay good money to get the best players in.
“It’s big for confidence to keep it at three. You never want to lose any goals as a defender, let alone three in one half.”
Meanwhile David Wotherspoon is eyeing up a Hearts hat-trick.
The Jam Tarts come to McDiarmid tomorrow, with Saints looking to open up a nine-point gap on the Premiership’s bottom side, having already beaten them twice this season.
“It was important that we didn’t lose heavily to Celtic because it can affect you in the games that follow,” said the former Hibs midfielder.
“There’s no reason why we can’t get back to playing how we were before that game.
“We were in good form and we’ll be looking to get back to that quickly.
“We played Hearts in the first game under their new manager but I would imagine they’ll be a different team with their confidence higher.
“We’ve beaten them twice – they were big results in our season.
“We want to make it three and start pushing as far up the table as we can.”