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St Johnstone manager Callum Davidson has praised the improved performance of his players despite conceding a late equaliser in a 1-1 draw against Livingston at the Tony Macaroni Arena.

After Glenn Middleton’s second-half header was cancelled out by Jack Fitzwater’s last-minute strike, the Saints all-but confirmed their spot in the cinch Premiership relegation play-off, as they sit six points clear of rock-bottom Dundee with a superior goal difference going into the final two matches.

Davidson was pleased with the reaction to last weekend’s disappointing home defeat to St Mirren, as his side put in a much-improved display.

He said: “I’ll sum it up between last week and this week – I’m a lot happier with the boys’ performance, I thought we tried to play, we tried to get on the ball and move it and cause Livingston problems.

“The late goal might be relevant, obviously we need to make sure we get two good results but we knew where we were with other results so it didn’t really make a difference.

“I don’t like losing when we don’t have a go and don’t play well enough and that was last week.

“It was really disappointing last week and I was pleased with the reaction from the players today.

“Glenn Middleton came on and gave us a wee spark and I thought Stevie May was good.

“I played him today because I thought he would get in behind and he would work hard and he did that.

“We had a wee chance at the end (through Callum Hendry), obviously I’m disappointed with the goal but a lot happier with the performance.”

Livingston boss David Martindale, meanwhile, felt his players were “lethargic” at times but he praised their character in not letting the match fizzle out, despite being safe in mid-table.

He said: “We were a wee bit lethargic today, I thought in the first half, but I need to give St Johnstone a bit of credit as well.

“I thought it had 0-0 written on it all day long then we don’t defend the back area and we allow a left-wing back to come in on his right foot.

“We then work a quick free-kick – (Jason) Holt’s ball’s tremendous, Scott’s (Pittman) runs fantastic and Fitzwater does really well because I’ve seen it more than enough times this season with the boys on the back zone switching off.

“Zander (Clark) pulls off a really good save but Fitzwater follows the ball in so a decent goal from our point of view and happy to get a point out of the game.

“Fair play to the lads, the game could have petered out at 1-0 but they fought really hard and got back into the game, and created chances to try and win the game of football.

“If it had ended 0-0, fans were probably wanting their money back but they’ve got two goals so they can’t ask for it back now!”