Kilmarnock 0-1 St Johnstone: Tommy Wright hails Saints belief

St Johnstone manager Tommy Wright feels self-belief has led to the Perth side's recent upturn in fortunes.

A late Brian Graham penalty gave Saints a 1-0 win over Kilmarnock as Wright's men leapfrogged Killie into sixth place. St Johnstone are now unbeaten in six games in all competitions, having previously gone five without a win.

"I keep saying it, in a bad run we don't panic," said Wright.

"We lost five in one season, then only picked up two points in seven games. We had a poor run last season where we went about six games without a win. It happens in this league.

"The main thing is to keep believing and that's what the squad does here, they believe in each other, they know that they can turn things around, and we try not to get too despondent when we do pick up a bad run."

Referee Don Robertson awarded St Johnstone the spot-kick in Ayrshire after Darryl Westlake was adjudged to have fouled Michael O'Halloran and Graham converted from 12 yards.

Kilmarnock players
Kilmarnock slipped into the bottom half of the table

"They started very well, Alan Mannus has an important save in the first minute, and we had to defend a lot of balls into our box particularly in the first half," Wright said.

"But, I thought we got into the game midway through the first half and created a lot of opportunities, and in the second half we were more in control of the game and looked the more likely to get a goal."

When asked about the penalty incident, Kilmarnock manager Allan Johnston said his side "should have defended it better in the first place".

"We had a couple of occasions where we've got to clear the danger, but after that it looks like he gets a touch on the ball," he added. "I don't know if it's a clear penalty or not.

"The pleasing thing was we created enough opportunities to win the game, but we've got to finish them otherwise that's what happens, you end up getting punished.

"We've got to test the keeper more. We got into really good areas and we've got to make sure there's an end product.

"Nobody else is going to help us. We've just got to stick together and work even harder."