Ross County 0-1 St Johnstone: Wright aims for strong finish

St Johnstone defender Steven Anderson tussles with County striker Liam Boyce
St Johnstone defender Steven Anderson tussles with County striker Liam Boyce

Manager Tommy Wright is sure St Johnstone can hang on to fourth place in the Premiership after picking up a 1-0 win at Ross County.

Steven MacLean's second half finish deservedly earned three points and means the visitors leapfrog Motherwell, who lost to Aberdeen.

"It's a 38 game league," Wright told BBC Scotland.

"We try and prepare them for the whole season and the last few seasons we've tended to finish strong."

Saints have won both matches since the Premiership split in half for the final run in and visit Motherwell next weekend.

"Last season after the spilt we were unbeaten and that's difficult to do as you're playing against the sides that have been at the right end of the table all season," added Wright.

Interviews: McIntyre and Wright

"We have a tough game coming up against Motherwell but we're in a nice position at the minute with three games to go.

"We knew it would take a good performance coming up here, particularly with the result Ross County got last week at Celtic

"Throughout the 90 minutes we controlled quite a huge chunk of that and never looked in any real danger.

"We passed the ball well, defended well, got the goal at the right time and had not too many problems to deal with so I'm a happy manager."

The only disappointment for Wright was another injury to Chris Millar who had to be replaced before half-time after suffering a calf injury.

"Chris has a problem," explained Wright. "It's not the problem that's hampered him this season, it's a calf problem as well.

"It doesn't look too serious so hopefully he'll get back for a couple of the games we've got left."

'Poorest performance of the season'

Ross County manager Jim McIntyre saw his hopes of finishing fourth severely dented and was in no mood to gloss over an abject performance from his side.

"We were really poor," he said. "I would put that up there as the poorest performance this season.

"It looked as if we had nothing to play for. St Johnstone looked as thought they wanted it more.

Ross County striker Brian Graham
Ross County posed very little threat in attack

"It was a scrappy goal to lose the match but the best team won.

"For the first time this season we didn't have a period in the game where you thought 'we're going to get a goal here'.

"We just had most of the players off the pace of the game, it's as simple as that. We didn't start well and we didn't recover from that.

"We've got professional pride and placing money to play for and that's still achievable but it's going to take a hell of a lot better performance than what we saw today."