ST JOHNSTONE manager Tommy Wright hailed another impressive performance by 20-year-old striker Stevie May against Ross County and joked that his value is rising by the game.
St Johnstone 4-0 Ross County
Scorers: St Johnstone - Hasselbaink (14), Wotherspoon (18), Mau (50), MacKay (62)
The Scotland under-21 attacker, who has been attracting interest from Peterborough United, netted in the Perth side’s comfortable 4-0 win over the Staggies, adding to previous strikes against Rosenborg in the Europa League and Hearts on the opening day.
Bids by the Sky Bet League One side have been rejected out of hand by Saints chairman Steve Brown and the Posh have asked the McDiarmid club to name their price. Wright said: “It has gone cold since Wednesday. There has been no further development but we might put another nought on it now!
“I have spoken to the chairman, Steve Brown, and I feel we have to set a deadline on it. To be fair to ourselves I don’t want Stevie going right on deadline day. I know you can have people lined up but we have to look after ourselves and, if he does go, we have to have time to replace him.”
The Perth manager also hailed a masterful midfield display by Hibs reject David Wotherspoon, who had a penalty saved by County goalkeeper Mark Brown, but netted a stunning 30-yard free-kick after Nigel Hasselbaink had opened the scoring with a cheeky backheel. Wright said: “First, I am happy Hibs didn’t want David and I am happy we got him. We trust him and give him confidence to play in the right areas.
“We try to take the fear out of it. Maybe that has helped him. Maybe some players find a club where they are comfortable. David is a good footballer and he is comfortable on the ball. He plays in little pockets for you. He has an eye for goal. The free kick is something he does in training every day and he scored one even better at Cowdenbeath in pre-season. He is a quality footballer and he is really happy here which is a big plus for him.”
Stevie MacLean skilfully set up strike partner May in the 49th minute and the youngster cut inside Ben Gordon and lashed a low shot through keeper Mark Brown to put Saints three goals to the good.
In the 62nd minute, skipper Dave Mackay stroked a 25-yard free-kick round the defensive wall to leave Brown flat-footed for goal number four.
Disappointed Staggies manager Derek Adams made six changes after the defeat by Partick Thistle the previous weekend, but admitted Saints were superior in every department as his team failed to pose questions of veteran debutant Steve Banks in the Perth goal.
“We changed things personnel-wise, other players came in and they haven’t performed well enough,” he said. “Of course you are concerned by three defeats and losing nine goals in three games. It is the first time for me as a manager and it is hard to take. We didn’t lose many goals last season and, if you aren’t right defensively, you aren’t going to do well.”