TOMMY WRIGHT reckons St Johnstone deserved another crack at Celtic after being dumped out of the Scottish Cup following Ryan Christie’s the winner nine minutes from time in Perth yesterday.
The quarter-final confrontation was delicately poised at 0-0 when the playmaker swung in a right-wing free-kick that travelled all the way to the back of a surprised Zander Clark’s net as it it swept through a packed penalty box.
The Saints boss thought the result was tough for his players to accept and thought they should have been looking forward to a replay at Parkhead.
Wright, speaking to the Evening Times, said: “I think the performance merited it.
“Alright, Celtic had more chances. But we have worked their goalkeeper a lot and had numerous corners. We must have been doing something right in terms of getting forward.
“There were a lot of good performances and that’s continuing now on a consistent level. This isn’t the result we wanted, but I can’t have any complaints about the performance which was better than good.
“We pushed Celtic all the way and we should have done enough to get a draw. But we haven’t defended a set-play and that’s cost us in the end.
“I’m extremely proud of their performance, but, ultimately, we are out of the Cup because we didn’t defend a set-play.
“We thought we had weathered the storm in the second-half when Celtic started it better than us. But we had chances of our own, good opportunities and were a real attacking threat throughout the game.
“We knew we would have to work hard, but we have gone toe-to-toe with the best team in the country for a long time and just fallen short.”
The result meant the Hoops completed a hat-trick of Cup successes over Wright’s side in two season. In the last campaign, a Leigh Griffiths goal knocked out the Saints from the Betfred League Cup at McDiarmid Park.
They were drawn again in the Scottish Cup and this occasion the Parkhead side won 5-0 with Scott Sinclair bagging a treble.
And Christie’s effort completed the trio the Saints gaffer didn’t need.