Liam Craig got a “big ovation” from his team-mates after marking his record-breaking St Johnstone appearance with a win, Callum Davidson revealed.
A top-notch collective performance to beat Dundee 3-1 at McDiarmid Park was the perfect way to take the veteran midfielder into new territory for the Perth club.
And wanting to make sure the landmark occasion got the result Craig deserved helped fuel a display Davidson believed was Saints’ best in the league so far this season.
“We spoke about it before the game but we didn’t want it getting too emotional,” he said.
“We tried to keep it simmering a bit.
“It’s a fantastic achievement for Liam and something he should be really proud of.
“All credit to him and his family for what he’s done for St Johnstone.
“The lads gave him a big ovation in there at the end.
“All the young boys can learn a lot from his character, enthusiasm and drive.”
Saints raced into a three-goal lead thanks to Chris Kane (2) and Stevie May before Ryan Sweeney grabbed a Dundee consolation.
And Davidson put the performance at number one for the domestic campaign so far.
“Definitely,” he said.
“We played some excellent football in the first half and took our chances.
“If I was being critical we could have kept the ball better in the last 15 minutes.
“Dundee were chasing the game and we could have opened up spaces and been more composed.
“But we scored three goals – three good goals. I’m not really used to being 3-0 up!”
Threat and drive
Davidson deployed Michael O’Halloran at right wing-back and the converted attacker was the best player on the pitch.
“Michael gives you that threat and drive,” said the Saints boss. “Shaun (Rooney) can step in from right centre-half and cause teams real problems.
“I thought we did that the whole game.
“On the other side you’ve got the control of David (Wotherspoon) and Callum (Booth). It was great to see.
“Jamie McCart, Liam Gordon, James Brown, Murray Davidson and Craig Bryson were all out.
“I’ve got to mention big Lars (Dendoncker). It was his first game.
“I thought he had a shaky start but after that he was excellent. As the game went on he got better and better.
“With Shaun and Efe (Ambrose) it was a brand new back three.
“For him to put in that performance was really pleasing.”