Nobody will have a more positive mindset in the St Johnstone team that lines up against Celtic tomorrow afternoon than Ross Callachan.
Just under a year ago the Saints midfielder was part of the Hearts side that beat the Hoops side that couldn’t be beaten.
The long ‘Invincibles’ run was ended in emphatic style with a 4-0 Tynecastle thrashing of Brendan Rodgers’ men.
Nobody is expecting a similar scoreline at McDiarmid Park but if any result shows that any team can be defeated, it was that one.
“They were on that incredible run back then but on that day we believed we could beat them,” Callachan recalled.
“If you don’t feel that way, there’s no point going out on the pitch. We need to have that belief on Sunday.”
Perth optimism should be fuelled by the fact that it took Celtic 83 minutes to score against them in their recent Betfred Cup quarter-final, according to Callachan.
It was a solid Saints performance – and one that they can improve on.
The former Raith Rovers man said: “We put on a good display in the cup but we could probably do better when we’ve got the ball and go after them a bit more.
“We defended really well the last time and the goal they scored in the end was an ugly one.
“If you show teams like Celtic and Rangers too much respect, they’ll run over the top of you.
“That was maybe the case the other week.
“If we go after them we’ll create more chances. The final pass let us down a bit. If we sharpen up and then take our chances we can get something.”
Callachan added: “They haven’t started great which is a plus for us. Hearts have beaten them, Killie have beaten them. Why can’t we?
“Celtic are used to having the ball so you need to try and get it off them high up the pitch.”
It’s early days in his St Johnstone career but two starts after signing on the last day of the transfer window is an early sign that he’ll be an important player for Tommy Wright this season.
“I’m enjoying it here,” he said.
“On the pitch, it’s great to be in the team. I’ve played the last two games.
“Obviously, on a personal level I was happy to score a goal at the weekend (in the 2-1 defeat to Hearts) but it was disappointing to lose the game.
“They were the better team but we had chances to create a wee upset.”
Saints recent fixtures were never likely to yield win after win. Aberdeen, Rangers, Celtic, Hearts and Celtic again is about as daunting as it gets. And a draw and a couple of one-goal losses so far is nothing to be ashamed of.
“It’s been a tough run but we’ve actually done alright in the games and apart from the Rangers defeat, they’ve all been close,” said Callachan.
“If we’d taken our chances the scorelines could have been different.
“Nobody here is getting down. Once a game is finished you put it to bed and look forward to the next one.”
Facing Scott Brown is the ultimate challenge for a central midfielder as far as Callachan is concerned.
“I think he’s brilliant,” he said. “It’s only when you play against him that you realise how good he is.
“It helps when you’ve got such quality players around you but he has been consistently brilliant for years. For a midfielder like myself, he’s a role model.”
Tony Watt should be available for Saints but Murray Davidson is unlikely to feature.