St Johnstone's Tommy Wright hopes Swanson-Foster fracas will spur on squad

St Johnstone manager Tommy Wright stares down Danny Swanson at half-time
Tommy Wright (left) had Danny Swanson (second right) sent off with team-mate Richard Foster

Saturday's on-field bust-up between team-mates Danny Swanson and Richard Foster could inspire St Johnstone, according to manager Tommy Wright.

An internal investigation started on Monday into the incident that led to the duo being sent off at Hamilton.

"The dressing-room is fine," Wright told BBC Scotland when asked how it would affect team morale.

"In fact, that will probably galvanise us between now and the end of the season."

Midfielder Swanson and full-back Foster had a heated exchange on the half-time whistle in an incident that was missed by television cameras.

Team-mates and opponents became involved as the pair were separated, after which they were both shown red cards.

Wright had warned on Saturday that he would take the harshest action legally possible should it turn out to be true what had been alleged.

"The investigation will start today and, until that's concluded, I can't really comment any more on it," he said on Monday about the two players, who have been suspended by their club.

"We are always aware that there is no footage of it, but that won't hinder any investigation.

"We hope to conclude that as soon as possible for all parties concerned."

On Wednesday, fourth-top St Johnstone host Hearts, who are two points and one place behind the Perth men in the Scottish Premiership.

Wright was sure his team, whose nine men went on to lose 1-0 to Hamilton Accies after conceding in stoppage-time, would go into the game "in a positive frame of mind".

"It was very disappointing on Saturday because of how we lost the game in almost the last minute and we put in an incredible effort," he said.

"We're a very tight group and we will stay together and we are all looking forward to playing Hearts on Wednesday."

St Johnstone defender Clive Smith
On-loan Preston defender Clive Smith made his St Johnstone debut

Wright praised Clive Smith, the 19-year-old defender on loan from Preston North End, who came on at the start of the second half.

"Terrible circumstances to make your debut in and I thought he acquitted himself well and proves what a good young player he is," he said.

"Obviously he'll get an opportunity now in the next couple of games."

Meanwhile, Wright reported that captain Steven Anderson has made impressive progress from the ankle injury that ruled him out on Saturday.

"When he hurt his ankle on Monday, it was feared he would be out for a long time, but that's not the case," the manager added.

"Ando being Ando, his powers of recovery are remarkable. We thought we were going to be looking at four to six weeks.

"I wouldn't rule him out for Wednesday, but certainly Saturday he should be back in the frame."

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