Davidson bemoans loss of Kane and performance of Vertainen

The St Johnstone boss lost his striker to the Covid close contact rules.

Davidson bemoans loss of Kane and performance of Vertainen SNS Group

St Johnstone manager Callum Davidson bemoaned the loss of Chris Kane to Covid-19 issues after criticising stand-in striker Eetu Vertainen for the crucial moment in a 2-0 defeat at Ibrox.

With Kane consigned to isolation under new rules after a household member tested positive, Vertainen lost the ball to allow Rangers to launch an attack which led to Alfredo Morelos heading home a 43rd-minute corner.

Rangers went two ahead when Morelos set up Ryan Kent four minutes after the break, before Saints finally got going when the cinch Premiership game was realistically out of sight.

Davidson, who took Vertainen off at half-time, said: “One team held the ball up well and linked play. For me that was the most disappointing thing.

“In the 42nd minute we were trying to flick balls round corners when it was important we stayed in the game. We could have seen the game through to half-time.

“If someone takes it off him by fighting and scrapping I will accept it but not little flicks round the corner with two minutes to go. It basically cost us the chance of getting something from the game.

“We lost Chris Kane with the new Covid household rule.

“These new rules just came in on Friday and I end up losing my main striker for 10 days. First and foremost I do hope the family member is safe and well, most importantly.

“But it’s a bitter blow, a real hard one to take, that we are going to lose Chris for these important games coming up.

“I lost a member of staff this morning in similar circumstances. It’s not just going to be us at St Johnstone, I think it’s going to be everyone.”

Rangers manager Giovanni Van Bronckhorst was generally pleased with his team’s performance, although he admitted they “lost a little bit of control” after going two ahead.

“The way we started, the first 15-20 minutes, we created so many chances to go 1-0 up,” he said.

“After that we didn’t create as much because they were defending really deep and it was difficult for us to find our spaces.

“The goal just before half-time really helped us to go into half-time and change a little bit our position on the pitch.

“The second half, we created the spaces we wanted and started it well. We scored a good goal, a very high-speed goal.”

Van Bronckhorst allayed fears over Borna Barisic after the left-back was forced off.

“He’s OK,” the Dutchman said. “He was just not feeling well. He’s not injured.”

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