CONOR NEWTON has taken great pride in getting the better of Celtic's classy midfielders – and he would love to do it all over again.

The 21-year-old was a hero at Hampden where he set up the Buddies' first goal for Esmael Goncalves in the Scottish Communities League Cup semi-final triumph over the Hoops and produced a performance full of graft and craft.

It was an amazing contribution from the Newcastle United kid who had only arrived on loan from St James' Park at the start of January and hadn't made a single senior appearance for Alan Pardew's side.

In fact, Newton's first senior bow had come just a week before his Hampden heroics in the 4-1 SPL mauling by Ross County.

He said: "I came here to get as many games as I could, and to have played in a League Cup semi-final already and come out on top against Celtic was unbelievable.

"It was great playing against the likes of Scott Brown and Victor Wanyama, and you just can't put a value on that.

"We have been able to take a lot of confidence from that. It showed against Inverness and then we built on it against St Johnstone, but to have drawn Celtic again in the quarter-finals of the Scottish Cup is unbelievable.

"I know they will be determined to pay us back for the League Cup semi though, and it is up to us to repeat the quality of our performance that day.

"It will be a huge challenge, but to have both a League Cup final against Hearts and a Scottish Cup quarter-final with Celtic is massive. To be playing in so many big games just underlines that the decision to come to St Mirren was correct."

Danny Lennon's men have moved to within just four points of a treasured top-six slot after their fine win over second- placed Inverness last midweek and face sixth-placed Aberdeen at Pittodrie this Saturday.

Newton, who is a product of the St James' Park Youth Academy at Newcastle, added: "Everyone is playing for a cup final jersey and that is a huge motivation for any player. Now it is about being as consistent as you can be week-in, week-out."