DUNDEE United may covet Tommy Wright as their next manager but according to St Johnstone defender Brian Easton it would be a sideways move if the Ulsterman left MacDiarmid Park for Tannadice.
Prior to the Tangerines making an approach yesterday, Perth chairman Steve Brown had insisted such a request would be “turned down flat”.
However, it is indicative of the state of Dundee United that Easton shares the view of many that it would be daft to leave a Premiership top-six side who are in the quarter-finals of the League Cup for a club at the foot of the table with a team bereft of belief.
Easton does believe it is inevitable that Wright will leave at some point for a higher platform, but Dundee United is not it.
Easton said: “It would surprise me if he went there, although I don’t know the ins and outs of everything.
“I think it would be a bit of a side step for him, but in saying that United are a big club.
“Right now we are looking good so hopefully he’ll stay the St Johnstone manager. There is more to come from us, and we are in the hunt for both cup competitions as well.”
Brown released a statement on the official club website yesterday which said: “Regardless of any approach and any level of compensation that might be offered, it will be flatly turned down.
“It is important to me that all St Johnstone supporters are assured that we intend for Tommy to remain at the club beyond his current contract which already runs to June 2017.”
That has soothed Easton and his team-mates who enjoy working for the 52-year-old who delivered the Scottish Cup and top-six finishes in each of his two seasons in charge.
Easton said: “I saw the statement earlier on the website. I was pleased with it and I’m sure the other boys will be hoping he stays on.
“It doesn’t surprise me there are teams sniffing about because he’s been doing great and with the way things are going his stock is pretty high.
“I am surprised someone hasn’t come for him before now. Look after the Scottish Cup win and there are teams all over the country that would want that success brought to their club.
“After last season we had another great campaign. We’ve started off not too badly this time.
“It’s not surprised me United are sniffing around, I’m just surprised it’s not more.”
Easton has revealed the secret to Wright’s success is the way he deals with players and provokes the best from them.
“He is a very good man-manager. You can see when we play at our best there is a lot of fight in the team and everyone is ready to work hard. He gets the most out of us.
“When things aren’t going so well or we are on a bad run, when we get to Monday there is a good atmosphere. It’s never been doom and gloom and I’ve been to places where it’s not been so good.
“The fact he is able to keep that sort of environment is massive.
“If we keep going as we are and have another successful season I think it will be inevitable at some point someone will snap the manager up.
“We will see what happens over the next few days but hopefully he is still our manager come the Partick Thistle game.”
United have already interviewed Mixu Paatelainen and Alan Irvine for the manager’s job after sacking Jackie McNamara, ironically after a defeat to Wright’s Saints ten days ago.