St Johnstone manager Tommy Wright has ‘drawn a line’ under the late arrival of four players for Saturday’s home defeat by Kilmarnock but will discuss ways of preventing a repeat.
Wright had to remove Richard Foster and Michael O’Halloran from his original starting line-up after they were held up by a road accident along with Chris Millar and Denny Johnstone.
The carload of players was on course to reach McDiarmid Park by 1pm but an accident just in front of them, north of Dunblane at 12.25pm, led to the closure of the A9 for four hours.
The players did not arrive until well into the first half of Saints’ 2-1 Ladbrokes Premiership defeat.
Wright, who did not conduct any post-match interviews, said: “I’ve drawn a line under it.
“They have got caught up in something that is not their own doing, but ultimately maybe a bit more time should have been given to get here earlier in terms of the time of year and the weather conditions.
“I am disappointed they didn’t make the game, they are disappointed they didn’t make the game because ultimately, and I will not change my opinion on it, it is their responsibility to get here on time.
“Some players get there half an hour earlier than they are meant to, some 45 minutes.
“As far as I’m concerned, there is a line drawn under it. We will try and look at ways of negating it. It might mean players staying up overnight but that would be a cost to the club and something that would have to be talked about.
“If we change the time then we will have to look at doing a pre-match [meal] and whether we can do that at the club.
“I have been here nearly 300 games and it has never happened before. That doesn’t make it right, because it shouldn’t happen. But it did and we will look at ways to try to negate it.
“If I say 12 o’clock and a similar accident happens, it took them four or five hours in the car to get here. That wouldn’t help so the only way to negate it totally is to have overnight stays.
“I don’t know if the club will do that. You can minimise ways but you can’t totally cover yourself.”
Wright, who bemoaned the loss of soft goals and a failure to work the opposition goalkeeper enough, added: “I know Joe [Shaughnessy] came out in the press and said it didn’t affect the team.
“It does really, when you lose one of your most influential players in the top end of the pitch [O’Halloran]. So it did have an effect.”
Four Saints players had also been hit by a sickness bug which prompted Wright to cancel training on Monday to prevent the virus spreading further.
“Two had to have sickness tablets and one had to have a sickness injection,” he said. “So it was an eventful day.
“But ultimately we have got to do better. We know that.”