St Mirren 0-1 St Johnstone: Wright offers Craig words of support

St Johnstone boss Tommy Wright
Wright directs his St Johnstone side during their 1-0 victory over St Mirren.

St Johnstone manager Tommy Wright offered under-fire St Mirren counterpart Tommy Craig some words of encouragement following a 1-0 win in Paisley.

The visiting boss recognised a good spirit from the hosts and acknowledged that the victory had been hard fought.

"From what I saw today you can clearly see a group of players that are willing to fight for their manager," said Wright.

"Tommy has been in the game for a long time and will be working hard to improve things."

An early Michael O'Halloran goal was enough to give St Johnstone all three points and stretches their unbeaten league run to five games.

"They certainly created chances and put us under pressure," he explained.

"We did control the game in the first, but gave them too many chances in the second to get back into it. Having said that, we had our own with Brian Graham hitting the post, so all in all I think we did deserve the points."

St Johnstone's Michael O'Halloran (2nd left) is congratulated on his goal which later won the game for his side.
St Johnstone's Michael O'Halloran (2nd left) is congratulated on his goal which later won the game for his side.

The win moves the Perthshire side to within a point of the Scottish Premiership's top six - and Wright believes his side can push on and cement a place in the top half of the table.

"First and foremost we don't want to be in a relegation battle like we were a few weeks ago and then we have to aim for a top top half finish," he said.

"For a club like us, with the resources that we have and to get a top six finish for three years running it really is encouraging and obviously we want to continue our defence of the Scottish Cup and hold on to that for as long as possible."

A despondent Tommy Craig during the 1-0 defeat by St Johnstone
A despondent Tommy Craig during the 1-0 defeat by St Johnstone

St Mirren manager Craig revealed that he is planning scouting trips to London and Liverpool ahead of the winter transfer window.

And he was pleased with the backing his struggling side received in Paisley.

"The performance of the players was one of honesty and endeavour," he told BBC Scotland. "We weren't brilliant but we played some good stuff at times.

"I felt than fans were just ready to cheer a goal. They were on the edge of their seats willing the ball to go in.

"When you get those two elements coming together, it tends to lead to positive things.

"You can't do anything without unity. It's vital at this point. It's easy to support a winning team, much more difficult to support a losing team.

"We certainly didn't deserve to lose but we couldn't get that goal and that's been our problem for most of the season.

"We have to look at the way the guys played in terms of willingness and work-rate. If you get that, you've always got a chance."

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