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St Johnstone season preview: Can Tommy Wright pull yet another rabbit out of the hat?

© SNSSt Johnstone manager Tommy Wright
St Johnstone manager Tommy Wright

He isn’t quite the Premiership’s longest-serving manager.

But Tommy Wright is, without doubt, the league’s most indefatigable boss.

Only Derek McInnes among the top league’s gaffers has been in-post longer than Wright.

And like the Aberdeen boss, Wright appears to be pretty much in with the bricks.

That’s what happens when you lead a club of their stature through the most successful spell in its history.

Constrained by a tight budget, Wright has consistently worked wonders, and will look to pull another rabbit out of his hat this term.

Transfers

In: Elliot Parish, Wallace Duffy.

Out: Aaron Comrie, Blair Alston, Brian Easton, Tony Watt, Joe Shaughnessy, Mark Hurst, Josh Doig.

There’s no way to sugar-coat it – Saints have had a rotten window.

Out the door have gone high earners (at least by Perth standards) such as Tony Watt, Brian Easton and Joe Shaughnessy.

The plan is to run with a smaller, higher-quality squad.

But, as yet, there have been no incomers to catch the eye.

Elliot Parish will provide back-up for highly-rated goalkeeper Zander Clark, while young defender Wallace Duffy will be given a chance to play his way into contention after leaving Celtic.

But amidst rumours of Stevie May’s return, the Perth side remain short at the back, in the centre of midfield and up top.

Target

Saints have consistently secured top-six finishes under Tommy Wright.

But after a strong start to last season, they ended up in the bottom half after falling away badly.

Without a few additions in key areas, it’s tough to see how the Perth side can mount a serious challenge at the top end of the table.

They have serious attacking talent in the shape of Matty Kennedy, Michael O’Halloran and Drey Wright, who is set to return from injury in August.

But there is precious little depth to their squad further back.

Without funds, even their miracle-worker of a manager may struggle to get his team into the top six.