Hearts 2-2 St Johnstone: Difficult to improve on fourth - Tommy Wright

St Johnstone celebrate Graham Cummings goal
St Johnstone went into a 2-0 lead before drawing

St Johnstone will find it difficult to improve on their fourth place this season, admitted manager Tommy Wright after his side's 2-2 draw at Hearts.

Saints had already secured fourth for a second straight season as they remained unbeaten in their last five games.

But Rangers' return to the top flight will increase competition next season.

"To improve will be difficult with Rangers coming in, with the size of budget and type of players they can bring in," Wright told BBC Scotland.

"My chairman (Steve Brown) is realistic and we will look at my budget and increase that within the parameters we can.

"We will try to maintain top-six and maintain fourth place. To finish fourth place two years in a row is all down to the players and I'm pleased for them.

"To come here and remain unbeaten since the split is a great achievement."

Referee Greg Aitken shows the red card to Hearts' Abiola Dauda
Referee Greg Aitken showed the red card to Hearts' Abiola Dauda (second left)

Hearts head coach Robbie Neilson praised his players after they fought back from two goals down to secure a draw, having played the final half-hour with 10 men after Abiola Dauda's red card.

"It was a similar end to last season, when we were 2-0 down to Rangers and fought back, and it's that fighting spirit that has got us where we are," said Neilson.

"It got us the Championship title last year and gets us into Europe this year."

Neilson was unhappy with some of referee Greg Aitken's decisions, in particular the penalty awarded to Saints early on which Craig converted to make it 1-0.

"I don't think it was the right decision," he said. "The referee has made it, but we have to accept that."

Neilson was also critical of the decision to show Dauda a red card in the second half with the scores at 2-2.

"I have seen it again," added the Hearts team boss. "They get tangled and I think it the reaction of the St Johnstone players that gets our player sent off.

"I need to be careful what I say, but I wasn't happy with a lot of his decisions today."

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