St Johnstone V Ross County at McDiarmid Park : Match Preview

16 August 2013 07:31
St Johnstone V Ross County - view commentary, squad, and statistics of the game live.

Wright confident in back-up plan

St Johnstone manager Tommy Wright is hopeful of finding a replacement for Stevie May if the striker completes a move to Peterborough.

The Posh have so far failed to match the Perth club's valuation of the player, but have yet to drop their interest.

If May does seal his departure from Saints, Wright is confident of beating the transfer deadline to fill the void left by the 20-year-old.

He said: "We've got a few irons in the fire that we could possibly look at.

"A lot would depend on if and when Stevie goes and any fee we would get.

"There are still a lot of players out of work so there will be options."

There had been suggestions that Peterborough had ended their interest in May, but Wright confirmed talks remain ongoing.

He added: "I think there was a tweet from their chairman saying they were no longer interested.

"Then we got a phonecall the next day so it's still ongoing.

"It's back with them at the minute and there's nothing more to report on it really.

"It's not dead in the water yet."

St Johnstone play host to Ross County in the Scottish Premiership on Saturday and Wright insists his players are now well over their Europa League disappointment.

Saints crashed out of the third qualifying round on penalties to Minsk last Thursday, before taking a point from a goalless draw at Kilmarnock on Sunday.

Wright said: "It's well over a week now and we have trained well this week.

"I think it was more the physical exertions that they had to put in on the Thursday night which may have led to a poorer performance on Sunday in terms of possession.

"But I'm taking nothing away from Kilmarnock, they played really well on the day.

"I've no doubts that the players are over their disappointment."

He added: "It will be a tough game tomorrow.

"Ross County will be looking for their first points, which gives them plenty of motivation.

"We are looking to build on what's been a good start for us; a win at home and a draw away from home.

"I don't think there are any easy games in the top-flight and tomorrow will be no different."

Saints will be without first choice goalkeeper Alan Mannus, who has been ruled out of action for up to six weeks with a shoulder injury.

He will be replaced between the sticks by back-up keeper/goalkeeping coach Steve Banks.

Branislav Micic hopes Ross County will get their season up and running at McDiarmid Park.

There was no surprise that the Staggies lost on their opening day trip to Celtic.

However, more than a few eyebrows were raised when the Highlanders, who achieved a top-six finish last season in their first tilt at the top-flight, crashed 3-1 at home to Partick Thistle at home last week.

The Swiss defender, 23, believes it is time for County to get points on the board.

"It was a bad performance from the whole team, we have to react in the next game," he said.

"It is very important to get the points, it is the third game and we have to take something.

"We have a good week in training and are ready to show a reaction.

"St Johnstone are a strong side, we know that but we also know our qualities and will show them."

Manager Derek Adams was heavily critical of his side after the Jags defeat saying: "I think it's probably the worst performance I've had since I became Ross County manager."

The former Motherwell midfielder, however, is expecting his side to bounce back against Saints.

"We didn't play well last week against Partick but I have a squad more than capable of doing well this season," he said.

"Partick are a side that has just come up, like we came up last season.

"They got themselves in front and then we made another mistake to make it 2-0 then it was 3-0 quickly after that.

"We didn't defend well enough or create enough openings and if you put those two together you are not going to get a good performance and that's what happened.

"When you get in to a winning mentality it is very good. We want to get back to that winning mentality.

"It has been a difficult start, away to Celtic and at home to Partick and they don't get any easier throughout the season.

"We enjoy going to McDiarmid Park and we are hopeful that we can put on a good performance and take the three points back north.

"We are looking to go there and do a lot better than we did last Saturday."

Source: PA

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