football

St Johnstone boss Callum Davidson unimpressed by LASK manager Dominik Thalhammer



St Johnstone boss Callum Davidson was far from pleased with LASK counterpart Dominik Thalhammer after Saints exited the Europa Conference League play-off 3-1 on aggregate to the Austrian side.

Thalhammer had described the Perth side as disgusting to play against following the 1-1 draw last week and there seemed to be little love lost between the men on the touchline at McDiarmid Park as the home side ended with nine men in the 2-0 defeat.

LASK substitute Husein Balic thrashed the ball in from 14 yards in the 71st minute before Saints substitute David Wotherspoon was sent off soon after he came on for an elbow on Florian Flecker.

McDiarmid Park defender Shaun Rooney was also dismissed in the 84th minute for conceding a penalty which was despatched by substitute Marko Raguz.

Before saying he would “absolutely not” be inviting Thalhammer in for a drink, Davidson said: “Their coach made a comment last week about us being a disgusting team to play and I let it go because maybe it got lost in translation.

“I now know it wasn’t that.

“It’s pretty disappointing to face another manager (like that) because I want to respect every manager.

“I’ll always conduct myself that way no matter what the score is.”

Davidson, whose double cup-winning side were knocked out of the Europa League by Galatasaray admitted that Wotherspoon’s challenge “didn’t look great, he gives the referee a decision to make,” but preferred to focus on his side’s performance which he described was “phenomenal” for 70 minutes.

He said:  “I would rather talk about my players and their performance than the sending off. I am very proud of them.

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“You look at the resources that LASK have compared to us, but we saw our team spirit.

“The outstanding achievements of last season have given us these games to enjoy but for me you want to progress.

“We have competed against two top teams in Europe didn’t let themselves down and we nearly got through.

“It has given them a taste of European football and I said to them let’s make sure we get that again.

“It was a great atmosphere and the fans were brilliant as they were against Galatasaray. That is what you want at St Johnstone.

“They were performing against a team who have performed at a high level for the past couple of seasons.

“For this game and the Galatasaray game my players gave me everything they’ve got.

“Ultimately it was a sending off that cost us.

“It is frustrating every time you get a player sent off and it is difficult to deal with.

“LASK have some top players and they were able to change things in the second half.

“We will refocus straight away and we will move on.”



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