Wright: Belief led us to final

14 April 2014 05:31

St Johnstone boss Tommy Wright insists his troops truly believe they can win their date with destiny after securing their first ever William Hill Scottish Cup final slot.

Stevie May netted a double that will go down in the club's history books to see off Aberdeen in the Ibrox semi-final.

All the signs were against the Perth side going into the game. They had never reached the final of the competition before, had lost seven last-four clashes in a row leading up to Sunday's Dons tie and were without a win from four attempts against Derek McInnes' team this season.

But they laid those ghosts to rest as they stormed back from Niall McGinn's opener to claim a 2-1 victory.

May, however, struck twice after the break to make himself a McDiarmid hero as well as considerably shortening the odds on him landing a clutch of young player of the year awards.

Now Wright - who will end his first season in charge of Saints by leading them out for the May 17 final against Dundee United at Celtic Park - is refusing to count his team out.

He said: "Getting to the final for the first time means a lot to the club and the supporters. They have had so many semi-final disappointments

"Even within the squad there a guys like Dave Mackay, Steven Anderson and Chrisy Millar have endured losing in semi-finals.

"It is something we have never achieved before but there is a belief about the place that maybe this year could be our year.

"On any given day we can beat anybody and we are looking forward to the big day."

Aberdeen had chances to extend their lead after taking a 14th minute lead but Adam Rooney, Barry Robson, Peter Pawlett and McGinn all fluffed chances to cement their advantage.

That set up May to first level the tie from a tight angle before he finished off his 25th goal of the season after a lovely one-two with strike partner Steven MacLean seven minutes from time.

"Stevie will rightly get the headlines because of the two goals but it was a really good team performance," said Wright. "Michael O'Halloran came in late after we lost Lee Croft. The back four did well while Alan Mannus made a good save at 1-0 down to keep us in it.

"You can't turn up against Aberdeen and only have five or six players doing well. Every one of them was excellent and that's how we got the result."

Aberdeen had crushed Saints 4-0 in the League Cup semis back in January before going on to claim their first trophy success in 19 years by beating Inverness in the final.

But they threw away chances of a securing a cup double by failing to take their chances in Glasgow's south side.

"A lot has been said about the last semi-final and how clinical we were," said Reds boss Derek McInnes. "That wasn't the case today.

"We had chances - Barry Robson's header, Peter Pawlett's chance when we broke, Niall McGinn's header at the back post.

"If we had got the second goal, although there was no guarantee you win the game, it does curb their enthusiasm and confidence.

"But while it was only 1-0, St Johnstone showed great determination to make it their day and should be congratulated for that."

Source: PA

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