St Johnstone manager Tommy Wright felt his team had “weathered the storm” before they lost two late goals to Celtic.
The Perth men, much-improved from their midweek display at Parkhead, held on until the 78th minute of their Premiership clash at McDiarmid Park yesterday.
That was when James Forrest, the hammer of the Saints after scoring four on his last visit, nipped in to make it 1-0 to the champions.
That was followed by a strike on the counter from substitute Timothy Weah a couple of minutes from time.
Wright, who had seen his side miss golden chances through Matty Kennedy and Tony Watt before Forrest struck, said: “I am disappointed with the result again but I asked for an improved performance with the ball and I thought I got that.
“We had moments in the game when we should have capitalised but we didn’t do it.
“I thought at the time that Tony probably should have scored and Matty definitely should have done so.
“I thought we had weathered the storm.
“Zander Clark was making the saves and we had a different dimension to our play.
“But we made a mistake for the all-important first goal and we are disappointed because we should defend it better.
“Then we were chasing the game at the end and they caught us on the counter.
“I think there were more positives form today’s performance than there were on Wednesday night at Celtic Park but it is still another defeat against them.
“We have to move on to the next game.”
Wright handed a debut to new midfielder Sean Goss, signed on loan from Queens Park Rangers on deadline day, and he was happy with his contribution.
The Saints gaffer said: “I thought he did well, particularly in the first half.
“He tired a bit in the second half but I would expect that because he hasn’t played a lot of first-team football.
“He will only get better for us.
“This will be the first time our supporters will have seen him and now they know what he is all about.
“He gets on the ball, wants to keep it and has a good range of passing as well.
“He can be happy with what he did in the game.”
Hoops boss Brendan Rodgers, meanwhile, praise his players for their patience.
He said: “It was a really good demonstration of our persistence and quality in the game, to play so well against a team that are very difficult to play against.
“We had everything thrown at us today in terms of injuries and what-not but the game went how we thought it would go.
“It was similar a wee bit to Wednesday night where we had to be patient in our game but still play with intensity.
“I thought we had really good tempo in our game. We created chances and kept a clean sheet, which is equally important.”