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Jamie McCart admits running Kelty gauntlet was career low point – but way St Johnstone have fought back fills star with pride

Jamie McCart.
Jamie McCart.

Jamie McCart admits running the gauntlet of angry St Johnstone fans in Kelty was the lowest point of his career.

But the Perth defender believes the way Saints have bounced back speaks volumes for the character of his team-mates.

McCart was amongst the McDiarmid Park players forced to endure the full-throated criticism of angry supporters after the shock Scottish Cup defeat to Kelty Hearts.

Since then, resurgent Saints have claimed five points from their last three games to move off the bottom of the Premiership.

McCart does not look back on that dark afternoon in Fife with any fondness.

But he believes the response of his team-mates proves the Perth club’s stars have the strength of character required to turn their season around.

“It is difficult but in circumstances like this, you need to stick together,” he said.

“That’s when your personality comes into it. From the gaffer, that has filtered down into us, and it’s been a good response.

“The Kelty game was probably the biggest low of anyone’s career. To bounce back from that the way we have, I think it speaks volumes for the boys in the dressing room and also the staff.

“You definitely find out about yourself, because the pressure comes on you.

“The fans weren’t happy. They obviously showed that at the time, which, fair enough, they’re allowed to.

“To come back with two clean sheets and a win, hopefully we can build on it again.

Callum Davidson walks toward the dressing room at full-time against Kelty Hearts

“It was seriously difficult circumstances for the club and the fans.

“But it was good to get new faces in the window. I think that’s boosted us, the new boys coming in.

“I think it’s shown in the starting XI, and with the boys coming on, the attitude is really good.

“I think out of possession and on the ball, we’re looking a lot more similar to what we were last season. That’s the main thing.

“If we can get back to that pressing and intensity out of possession, that’s what gave us the success last year, if we can continue that, we’ll do well.”

.McCart is out of contract at the end of the season, but insists no talks will take place until the club’s Premiership safety is secured.

They moved another point closer to that goal at the weekend with a hard-fought, 10-man draw with Dundee United.

And such is Saints’ transformation in terms of attitude and approach to games, McCart walked away on Saturday feeling the short-handed Perth side should have WON, despite Melker Hallberg’s controversial sending off.

‘Two points dropped’

“It probably is a good point, but it does feel like two points dropped as well just because we started well in the first half,” he said.

“We believe that if we had 11 men, we’d have won the game. But to keep a clean sheet in those circumstances is good.

“It is a disappointing red card. It didn’t look like one. It happens and you just need to get on with it. It’s disappointing that Melker will miss a game because he’s been excellent since he came in.

“It’s not up to us to make the decisions there. We’re just on the end of them.

“Obviously it pins you in a bit when you’re a man short. In the attacking sense, it nullified that a wee bit. From their point of view, we just defended really well.

“We sat in and maybe, if we’d have taken our chances or nicked something in the break [they could have won the game, but at least we kept a clean sheet.

“That’s three unbeaten now for us. Hopefully we can look back on this game as great point, even if we could have won it. We stuck it out and got a clean sheet and a point.”

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