ST JOHNSTONE manager Tommy Wright has challenged his side to get back to winning ways after their dismal defeat at Tannadice.
Wright’s lacklustre side slumped to a heavy 4-0 loss away to Dundee United which spoiled an otherwise impressive start to the new season in which they defeated Rosenborg in the Europa League qualifying stages.
Saints have been widely-tipped to challenge for second place in the SPFL and their performances up until Saturday did nothing to suggest they would not be in line for the runners-up slot.
But Saturday’s setback came out of the blue for the Perth club, who were 3-0 down at half-time, with manager Wright now wanting to see his side bounce back. He said: “It’s one of these things which happen in football. One minute you’re on a high and then the next you’ve got to deal with a disappointment.
“This was particularly disappointing with the way we played when you consider what we’ve been like recently. But the next game is always the most important and that’s what my players will be thinking about.
“We’ll sit down and have a look again at what happened on Monday and see how we can put things right.”
Saints never recovered from their sluggish start. With just four minutes on the clock, Ryan Dow’s pass found Keith Watson and the full-back had only one thing on his mind as he advanced 22 yards from goal. Watson took a touch before unleashing a powerful left-foot drive which took a deflection off Patrick Cregg to beat goalkeeper Steve Banks into his far corner.
Watson’s early opener was followed by David Goodwillie’s 25th-minute header – the on-loan Blackburn Rover striker rising in style to nod past a helpless Banks – which was added to by Gary Mackay-Steven’s 40th-minute strike, before Stuart Armstrong timed a run from midfield to perfection and sealed things with the fourth early in the second half.
Wright admitted it was always going to be an uphill battle to get a result from then on as United took complete control of proceedings.
He said: “We never got going. We’ve played well in recent weeks but here it didn’t happen for us. We didn’t want to lose an early goal but when we did it made things even harder for us.”
United midfielder Stuart Armstrong believes they can use the win to get their season up and running in Jackie McNamara’s first full season at the Tannadice helm. He said: “It’s good to get the three points. We felt that performance was coming so it’s just nice to get the points in the bag, especially at home.”
McNamara was content with his players’ efforts to seal their first win at home since 6 April. He said: “It’s very pleasing against a very good St Johnstone side. We played to our strengths by passing the ball which is what I want us to do.”