ST JOHNSTONE lined up against Hamilton without forward Michael O’Halloran, with Tommy Wright claiming the ex-Celtic youngster ‘wasn’t mentally right’ in the wake of transfer interest from Rangers.
O’Halloran has been the subject of two bids from Rangers, both of which were rejected by the McDiarmid Park side.
Wright told BBC Scotland ahead of the Scottish Premiership clash that he hoped O’Halloran hadn’t played his last game for St Johnstone, adding: “There’s a lot of speculation this week. I just don’t think that Michael, mentally, is right today.”
And Wright rubbished claims that O’Halloran had been left out to ensure he stayed injury-free and the Saints weren’t denied a six-figure transfer fee.
“There’s been no deal done, so the money doesn’t come into it. My decision is purely based on football and the frame of mind he’s in,” Wright insisted.
“I don’t think it would benefit him or the team if I started him or he was even on the bench. It’s best for him to take a rest,” he added.
O’Halloran, who joined St Johnstone in 2014 after a spell with Bolton, has made 23 appearances this season, netting four goals.
Wright admitted that St Johnstone were unable to stop Rangers from making offers for O’Halloran, but added: “They’ve done that, they’ve made bids and we’ve turned them down.
“That’s the nature of the business.”