St Johnstone 2-1 Kilmarnock: Tommy Wright lauds battling Saints

By Martin DowdenBBC Scotland at McDiarmid Park

St Johnstone manager Tommy Wright hailed his side after they came from behind to strengthen their grip on fourth place in the Premiership.

After conceding an early Kilmarnock opener, Wright was buoyed by Saints' success when not at their best.

"We showed a side that we've got a real quality that when you don't play particularly well you can still win games," Wright told BBC Scotland.

"Second half, we played a lot better and got the goal."

Interviews - Wright & Locke

St Johnstone's strike force once again hit their mark, Michael O'Halloran and Chris Kane bagging a goal apiece. And with 29 league goals already this season, they are just five short of their total for last term after only 14 games.

"We have real strength and depth there now and in the squad as well," added Wright. "If you look at the bench as well but up front I'm particularly pleased at the number of goals that we've scored.

"We're averaging over two a game in the league, which is an excellent return compared with where we were last year but I'd still like more clean sheets.

"The season [2013-14] that we won the [Scottish] Cup and finished sixth we had 25 clean sheets out of 50 games and a high percentage last year as well.

"If we get that right it'll make us really difficult if we can keep scoring."

Murray Davidson and Steven Smith
Murray Davidson and Steven Smith vie for possession

Kilmarnock manager Gary Locke cut a frustrated figure for the second week running, having lost narrowly to Motherwell last weekend.

"It was very similar to last week," he said. "We got the goal ahead [through Steven Smith], played some great stuff and certainly felt we looked the better team.

"We created a few chances, didn't take them and that was the difference between the two sides. St Johnstone get a couple of chances and were clinical."

Locke blamed individual errors on both goals conceded and believes his side aren't far away from most in the division.

"St Johnstone are a team flying at the moment and we've more than matched them," he added,

"I felt we were the better side, especially first half, but we've got to be more clinical. The work-rate and endeavour is there.

"We got a bit of praise the last couple of weeks because we had been winning games and playing well. I still feel we've played well in the last two games, we've just not had that wee bit of luck you need."