MURRAY Davidson has insisted St Johnstone can take heart from an improved performance against Celtic on Sunday - and claimed the Perth club could have got a result if striker Tony Watt had “taken a sore one”.

Late goals from James Forrest and substitute Timothy Weah secured a 2-0 victory for the double treble winners that restored their six point lead over Rangers at the top of the Ladbrokes Premiership table.

The McDiarmid Park club had suffered defeat by exactly the same scoreline in their league match against their rivals, who they take on in the last 16 of the William Hill Scottish Cup at Parkhead on Sunday, away four days earlier.

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However, Davidson felt that Tommy Wright’s men gave a far better account of themselves at home and could have drawn or even won the game if they had converted one of the scoring chances they created.

The midfielder was exasperated that former Celtic forward Watt had failed to connect with a Matty Kennedy cross early in the second-half when the game was level.

“It was extremely frustrating,” he said. “It was a completely different feel to Wednesday night. On Wednesday night we didn’t really lay a glove on them, but on Sunday we were in the game.

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“We worked on trying to get higher up the pitch, keeping the ball better and on being more of a threat when we got the ball. I thought in the first-half we got into some good areas.

“Matty had a chance, Tony had a great chance in the second-half if he had gone to head it.

I thought he was going to score. I said that to him after the game. It was six yards out, if he heads it we score. He said he thought he was beyond the post. At the time I just felt he could have flung himself at it and taken a sore one.

“But those are the fine margins. If that goes in you have got something to hold onto. It could have been a different story, but it wasn’t to be.”

Davidson added: “In the second-half Zander (goalkeeper Clark) had some good saves. But I thought we had weathered the worst of it, I thought we were through it. We could have done better at their goals. We worked so hard so to get undone by that was so frustrating.

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“When you keep it level until so late in the game you hope to at least come away with a 0-0 draw. It was frustrating, but there were more positives to take out of the game than there were on Wednesday.

“At both ends of the pitch you have to take your chances. At the same time, they are such a good team, if you switch off for half a second then they punish you more often than not and that is what happened on Sunday.

“After the game on Wednesday night we said there will be better teams than us go to Celtic Park and get beaten 2-0. We didn’t think it was a disaster. We were disappointed to lose the game, but it was the manner that we lost the game that was disappointing.

“We didn’t create enough of a threat, we didn’t keep the ball well enough. But on Sunday, even taking the chances away, we were better. Even taking the chances away, if we had taken a bit more care in the final third we could have had more chances. You have to be switched on at both ends of the pitch. They are such fine margins.”

Sean Goss, the Queens Park Rangers midfielder who spent the second half of last season on loan at Rangers, made his debut after joining St Johnstone until the end of the 2018/19 campaign on the final day of the January transfer window on Thursday.

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Davidson believes the former Manchester United starlet, who was watched by QPR director of football Les Ferdinand at McDiarmid Park, will be a good addition to the squad.

“I thought Sean did very well,” he said. “He tired towards the end of the game because he’s been playing reserve football and that’s his first proper game in a long time. I thought he did well and I think he’ll be a good addition to the squad.”