Double cup holders St Johnstone continue the defence of their League Cup this weekend when they face Celtic at Hampden in Saturday’s semi-final – and the Parkhead side have started trying to pile the pressure on referee Nick Walsh by citing a “deep concern” over his performance when he took charge of the sides’ Premiership meeting last month.

Callum Davidson’s side lost 2-0 at Celtic Park in the October clash but at Celtic’s AGM yesterday, chairman Ian Bankier admitted the concern over Walsh’ appointment for Saturday’s Hampden showdown.

celtic st johnstone

Referee Nick Walsh has sparked ‘deep concerns’ at Celtic Park (Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images)

Celtic are unhappy after a yellow card was shown to Saints star Chris Kane and Celtic defender Cameron Carter-Vickers after they clashed, with Kane lucky to avoid seeing red for his part in the flashpoint.

When asked during the Q&A section of the AGM about officials, Walsh came in for criticism as the Parkhead side try and ramp up the pressure ahead of the must-win game for Ange Postecoglou’s side.

“That is a source of deep concern. But we don’t run the SFA,” Bankier told Celtic shareholders.

“We are a member club of which there are others and we get our shout, we get our say.

“You can’t expect us with a flick of the wrist to tell the SFA what to do and what not to do.”

St Johnstone will be hoping their recent record at Hampden continues as the Saints look to extend their outstanding record in the cups under Callum Davidson.

With Celtic trying to put pressure on the officials days ahead of a ball even being kicked, you can rest assured they’ll continue it right into this weekend’s Hampden clash as they try to gain every benefit they can.

For Callum Davidson and his players, there’s very little to lose at Hampden, despite going into the game as holders, as they aim to spring another surprise and make it to a third domestic cup final on the spin.

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