JOE Hart incurred the wrath of Celtic fans last Wednesday night when he gifted RB Leipzig a goal in a Champions League match in Germany with an underhit pass.

But Remi Matthews fully expected the goalkeeper he grew up idolising to put the disappointment behind him and atone for his error against St Johnstone at McDiarmid Park on Saturday.

The former England internationalist pushed a goal-bound Stevie May shot onto his post in the second-half of the cinch Premiership encounter – and the visitors ran out narrow 2-1 winners as a result.

It was no surprise to Matthews, the Crystal Palace player who is on loan at the Saints this season, that Hart helped the Parkhead club to pick up all three points and maintain their led over Rangers.

He believes his countryman is a huge player for Celtic on and off the park. 

“Joe Hart is someone who I have idolised and it was a pleasure to play against him,” he said.  

“He makes big saves at important times, that’s what he’s always done. He’s been one of my role models. He’s one of the best keepers in Scotland

“I spoke to him after and got his shirt, which was a nice gesture. I can’t thank him enough. 

“I had always heard good things about him from down the road. Jack Butland (the Crystal Palace keeper) is good mates with him and he’s always spoke very highly of him. 

“He brings presence and leadership as well as his ability as a goalkeeper. He was at the world’s best club, Man City, and was England’s number one for a long time. 

“He was one of the best keepers, for me. He’s been a massive part of Celtic’s success.” 

Meanwhile, Matthews has absolved his St Johnstone team mate Drey Wright, who pulled up injured before Giakoumakis scored in the fifth minute of injury-time, for Celtic’s winner.

“It’s a tough one to take, but you can’t point fingers at anyone,” he said.  

“It’s not just Drey’s fault - we could have dealt with the cross better and we could have had someone on the front post. 

“Drey will probably look back and think he could maybe have kicked it out then went down, but that’s hindsight. 

“I thought Drey was excellent the whole game and it’s just one we have to learn from as a group and as a team. 

“I thought we were excellent, we gave the champions a tough game, one of the toughest they’ve had this season, and it was a sore one to take in the end.”

“We have to take the positives because if we keep playing like that, with that commitment and passion on the pitch, this team has an exciting future. 

“It’s difficult when you have a disappointment like that, but we have to look at the good points.”