Tommy Wright demands improvement from St Johnstone

St Johnstone manager, Tommy Wright. Picture: SNS Group
St Johnstone manager, Tommy Wright. Picture: SNS Group
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ST JOHNSTONE manager Tommy Wright admits his side have to buck up their ideas if they are to beat Dundee in their crucial Premiership game on Saturday.

Tuesday night’s lacklustre 1-0 defeat to in-form Ross County was another spurned opportunity for Saints in their quest to cement their place in the top-six ahead of the split.

A win at home to Dundee at the weekend will guarantee the Perth side a top-half finish, but Wright has challenged his players to improve from the game in Dingwall if they are to secure that feat for the fourth year in a row.

He said: “We’ve got to improve. We had decent possession but at times we gave the ball away too cheaply and that causes a lot of problems.

“There are areas that we were pleased with but there are certain areas that we need to improve on.”

One of those areas highlighted by Wright was in attack after noting his misfiring strikers had managed just four goals in their last six outings.

St Johnstone had only two shots on target during that defeat to Ross County and Wright acknowledged that his players have to start making better decisions in the final third.

The Northern Irishman said: “You cannot create opportunities if you do not keep the ball well and do not make the right decisions in the final third, so that is what we have got to do.

“Overall we had more possession in the game but we kept making mistakes in possession and that is something that we have got to improve on.”

In spite of Wright’s warning, St Johnstone are still in a good position to reclaim a top-six finish. They currently occupy fifth position, one point ahead of Dundee and two ahead of Hamilton in six and seventh respectively.

Dundee do have a game in hand on their rivals, but considering that game is against champions-elect Celtic, Wright remains confident his side can pip their opponents to the prize.

He said: “We know a win will guarantee us a top-six finish so we’re are going into the game confident.

“We are in a good position. We do not know if Saturday’s game will decide the top six with Dundee still to play Celtic, but we are just concentrating on trying to get a performance that gets us three points.”

St Johnstone have already started planning for the new season with goalkeeper Alan Mannus penning a new two-year deal this week.

Wright confirmed the club will begin discussions with a number of out-of-contract players soon as well as revealing a new striker is top of his summer wishlist.

He added: “We are planning to talk to the remainder of the squad that are coming out of contract. We are also talking to agents regarding players for next season.

“There are areas that we feel we need to improve. A striker will be my main priority this summer.”

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