Callum Davidson has admitted that St Johnstone’s top six hopes are hanging by a thread after their 1-1 draw with Hamilton Accies.
The Perth boss felt that the draw was the least his team merited after showing the sort of commitment he called for despite the inevitable comedown after their Betfred Cup final heroics.
He fears, though, that the late Guy Melamed equaliser, which cancelled out an opening goal from ex-Saint Ross Callachan, won’t be enough to give them a realistic shot at catching sixth-placed St Mirren, who are five points ahead of them with just two games left before the Premiership split.
“I thought we needed to win the game to get in the top six,” said Davidson.
“But we gained grounds on the teams below us so we can be pleased with that.”
Melamed’s goal was his fifth of the season and Davidson praised the Israeli for his response to being benched for the cup final – as he did the other players who were unlucky not to be selected in the starting line-up on Sunday.
“It was a great through ball and an unbelievable first touch from Guy,” he said. “But we know he is capable of that.
“It was top class finishing and I thought that was the least we deserved.
“That just shows his character after being left out.
“He is over here living on his own and you can see what kind of character he is.
“I was really pleased with his performance.”
Davidson added: “To come from the emotional high of Sunday and put in a performance like that was all credit to the players.
“I thought the boys were brilliant given it was such a quick turnaround from Sunday.
“I was worried there might have been a hangover but after the first five minutes we were good and our energy levels were tremendous.”
The man who scored the winner in the final, Shaun Rooney, had to be taken off early in the second half.
Davidson reported that he had taken studs to the back of his knee and his leg had stiffened up.
Hamilton manager Brian Rice said: “We’re obviously disappointed to lose the late goal after scoring a fantastic one ourselves to go in front.
“I thought we defended ever so well. I’ve seen their goal again and I think it’s offside but it doesn’t matter what we think now – the assistant referee didn’t think so it’s just one of those things.
“I feel a bit aggrieved at the goal but it’s another point towards safety.
“You saw a team out there fighting like hell and it’s another point.
“We’ve been over the course before at this stage of the season and you can either deal with that or you can’t and my lads have already proved that they can.
“A win can lift you up a couple of places. We hit the post but St Johnstone had chances as well. They came here as cup winners and that would have given them a boost.”