St Johnstone manager Callum Davidson has hailed the character of his side after Stevie May’s last gasp winner secured a dramatic 2-1 win against Motherwell at Fir Park.
Saints have signed nine players this summer and new recruit Jamie Murphy gave them the lead with a sharp low finish in the first half.
Another summer signing Graham Carey then inadvertently levelled the match in the 90th minute, with the St Johnstone winger deemed to have got the last touch into his own goal following a Sondre Solholm Johansen flick on as Motherwell equalised, before May’s smart finish deep into injury time provided the late twist.
Davidson was full of praise for how his side are beginning to gel, despite the large upheaval in the squad.
He said: “If you look at the starting XI, I’ve got three players that played last season, so it’s been a huge turnaround.
“We lost four of my better players from last season. I think I’ve got some good players in and I’ve got a good performance level from some.
“It’s a brand new back five and I thought they performed really well today and last week (1-0 defeat by Hibernian) when we were unlucky not to get something out of the game.
“People say I need new strikers – I thought the two strikers were both involved in both goals.
“Really disappointed we conceded from a set-piece again, that’s two in the 90th minute we’ve conceded, but the overriding emotion is we’ve got the three points, so great character from the players.
“Delighted with the three points in a hard place to come.”
Motherwell interim boss Steven Hammell hinted that his side may follow suit in going back into the transfer market, as he admitted the Steelmen’s squad needs “surgery”.
Hammell also lamented a poor first-half performance from his side as he reflected on a difficult week for the club, with Motherwell also losing defender Jake Carroll to a serious injury in training.
He said: “Very difficult, disappointing. We can be a lot better than that, but at the very worst we should be coming away with a point.
“We’ve not had our problems to seek this week, there’s been a lot going on and we’ve not made any excuse or complaint about it at all, but it’s clear to see for anyone who was at the game that the squad needs a bit of surgery and needs a bit of help.
“Our shape was set up that we wanted to win the ball in certain areas and play from there and it didn’t work out that way, hence the changes at half-time.
“The intensity wasn’t there, the being brave in and out of possession wasn’t there and it was nowhere near a performance you want to see, especially at home in a game you want to do well in.”