Going quietly about their business, St Johnstone are one of the least talked about sides in the Scottish Premiership. The race for the top six is often talked about, and St Johnstone are rarely mentioned. This is despite the fact they currently sit in sixth.
Tommy Wright’s side may have hit a few bumps since the winter break, but on Saturday, they were back to their old sturdy self. A 0-0 draw at Ibrox is just reward for Wright’s side. They performed admirably, and may have deserved more than a point. It displayed once again how undervalued they are.
Under Wright, the Saints have undergone a golden period in the club’s history. Since the manager took over, the Saints have qualified for Europe more times than they have done in their entire history. They also won their first major honour this century, lifting the Scottish Cup in 2014.
St Johnstone have finished in the top six five times under Wright and aren’t receiving enough praise. They get very little recognition for the hard work they put in at McDiarmid Park.
St Johnstone fly under the radar
Despite their successes, the Saints are constantly written off. They weren’t given a hope in hell against Rangers, yet they managed to grind out a draw. People quickly forget the eight game unbeaten run between October and December, instead focusing on the negatives.
They are the team people forget about, yet always seem to be at the right end of the table. St Johnstone have one of the smallest wage budgets in the country. The fact they are anywhere near the top six is a borderline miracle at times. This has became the normal procession for Saints fans though. This became evident when critics wondered whether Wright’s time in Perth was up, having seen his Saints side finish in the bottom six.
The minuscule budget highlights how well Wright has done, and continues to do. It’s surprising that no major offers have came in to take Wright away from Perth. Like his team, his work has gone largely unnoticed by those outside of McDiarmid Park.
Wright has took some players to another level. The likes of Zander Clark, Joe Shaughnessy and Jason Kerr are recent examples of Wright working his magic. They perhaps aren’t the best players, but Wright manages to improves them.
People expect the Saints to finish top six now, which is a testament to Wright and St Johnstone. The success the Perthshire outfit have enjoyed deserves more recognition.