Tommy Wright refuses to discuss O'Halloran interest

By Brian McLauchlinBBC Scotland

St Johnstone manager Tommy Wright would field no questions on the possible transfer of Michael O'Halloran to Rangers at Monday's media conference.

Wright would only say O'Halloran remains a St Johnstone player, and will play in Saturday's League Cup semi-final against Hibernian.

"Michael O'Halloran's situation hasn't changed," explained the Saints boss.

"I am not answering any questions on Michael. He is in the team. Team 'A', team 'B' or team 'C'."

Rangers have had two bids for the player rejected in recent weeks. O'Halloran, however, returned to the starting line-up against Celtic last Saturday.

The striker had been rested for the Perth side's draw with Hamilton Academical on 16 January, with Wright stating the player was not "mentally ready" to play amidst intense speculation he may end up at Ibrox before the end of the month.

Wright, meanwhile, thinks the timing of Saturday's semi-final is wrong, coming in the final weekend of the January transfer window. He says there is a case for the tournament being completed before Christmas.

"The people that run the game think they know best," he said. "I know the club chairman (Steve Brown) is not happy with it. I think the League Cup should be more condensed as to when it starts and when it finishes.

"Maybe moving forward it should be a competition that's played before Christmas. To have it (the semi-finals) on the weekend of the transfer weekend is not ideal for clubs."

St Johnstone have a number of injury doubts going into Saturday's game with captain Dave McKay and midfielders Murray Davidson and Chris Millar all "extremely doubtful" according to Wright and he says that Hibernian go into the game as favourites to make the final at Hampden in March.

Anthony Stokes
Hibernian, St Johnstone's League Cup opponents, have signed Anthony Stokes in January

"I would say they start favourites," he added. "If you look at their form recently they are on a good run, they are scoring a lot of goals and while our performances have been decent enough our results haven't been what we have wanted.

"They (Hibernian) have been able to strengthen adding five players in the window. We haven't been able to do that and we have a few injury concerns so I would say they would probably be slight favourites."

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