TOMMY Wright is already mapping out plans for the Europa League – and nailing down talismanic striker Stevie May on an extended deal.
Striker May, with 27 goals in his SPFL debut season, is under contract for another year but Wright is confident he will pen an extended deal after watching promising Scottish youngsters lose their way in England. The Perth manager has watched highly regarded Scottish talents such as Scott Allan and Fraser Fyvie move south and struggle to fulfil their potential. And Wright suspects May wants to get his timing right.
“It’s all positive. We know that we’ll have to give Stevie better terms, but we know he wants to stay. That makes it easier,” said the Ulsterman. “It’s harder if you have to persuade a player. I like how Stevie’s matured as a person and dealt with all the attention. He’s been excellent with the media and comes over really well. Stevie’s just one of the lads here. There’s no airs and graces. That’s important. He wants to develop in Scotland before he moves down south.
“There are a few players who have gone to England, like Fraser Fyvie from Aberdeen to Wigan and Scott Allan from Dundee United to West Brom, who were good players. And they’re still probably good players, but they’ve lost their way in a bigger environment. I see Scott has just been released. That’s why it would be good for Stevie to stay here for at least another season.”
The St Johnstone boss has already fixed up a home friendly with York City for 19 July in the build-up to another Euro starter, and he hopes to pencil in another two to get up to speed in a bid to emulate last summer’s heroics over Norwegian side Rosenborg.
Wright is confident a ten-month campaign won’t have left his players drained. He stressed: “The coaches, our sport scientist and other staff take a lot of satisfaction from our fitness levels at the end of the season. We’ve managed the season really well. We know when to rest players and give them days off. I’m a great believer that if you say you’re tired you will be tired, so I never mention it.”