Motherwell or United ‘sideways’ step for Wright

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St Johnstone defender Brian Easton believes his manager Tommy Wright would not necessarily be advancing his career if he filled either of the current top flight vacancies at Dundee United or Motherwell.

Wright has excelled since taking charge of the Perth club two years ago, leading them to successive top-six Premiership finishes and claiming their first major honour with victory in the 2014 Scottish Cup final.

Tommy Wright has guided the Saints to back-to-back top six finishes and a Scottish Cup triumph. Picture: SNS Group

Tommy Wright has guided the Saints to back-to-back top six finishes and a Scottish Cup triumph. Picture: SNS Group

The 52-year-old has been linked with the jobs at United and Motherwell following the dismissals of Jackie McNamara and Ian Baraclough in the past few days.

Easton believes it is simply a matter of time before Wright is lured away from St Johnstone but feels only a much bigger club will tempt him.

“I’d be surprised if he left for another Scottish club,” said Easton. “St Johnstone are not the biggest club and don’t have the biggest fanbase but we have done really well.

“We are always aiming to keep improving. So I don’t know if it would be a sideways step, unless you are going to Celtic or Rangers. It’s no surprise that the manager’s name is being linked with other clubs. The job he has done at St Johnstone over the last couple of years has been outstanding.

“Hopefully he will still be with us. It’s a great set-up at Saints, with a great group of lads and great coaching staff.

“We are gathering a bit of form now and we want to get a wee run going.

“It is inevitable that he will be able to make a step up to a bigger team one day and do well.

“He is very good tactically and is a great man-manager as well. He has definitely got it in him to do well. There will be a few teams sniffing about him.

“St Johnstone have been fortunate with managers over the last few years. The chairman hasn’t had to sack anyone, because they have all done well before moving on!

“I’m not sure when it will happen but, hopefully, he will stay for a good bit into the future yet, anyway.”

United stalwart Dave Bowman has been placed in temporary charge of United for this weekend’s match away to Partick Thistle and he will be assisted by captain Sean Dillion.

Like Easton, Ross County midfielder Rocco Quinn hopes Jim McIntyre and Billy Dodds stay long enough to reap the full rewards of their hard work in Dingwall after the management pair were also linked with a return to Tannadice.

Ross County’s start to the season – they sit fifth in the Ladbrokes Premiership – is sure to have made McIntyre a manager of interest in the Dundee United boardroom, although out-of-work bosses Stuart McCall and Mixu Paatelainen and Wright appear to be the front-runners to replace McNamara.

Former Dunfermline and Queen of the South manager McIntyre and assistant Dodds both played with distinction for United but they have been well-backed by County chairman 
Roy MacGregor.

And Quinn hopes they would continue their good work in the highlands even if United come calling.

“I would hope so because a lot of the work the people from outside don’t see, the stuff at the training ground and the hours they are putting in, they are putting a lot of their time in County,” the midfielder said.

“They are investing a lot of their own time in County, as we all are. As players we hope they stick around for many years to come, definitely.

“The turnaround since they have come in has been absolutely through the roof. They have brought a positivity and a feelgood factor back to the club when it was badly needing it.

“The job they have done so far has been nothing short of incredible. All the boys and I think, all the fans now as well really, are starting to appreciate what they are actually doing for the football club.”