It’s Scottish Cup Final on Saturday – and Tommy Wright has a date with destiny as he leads St. Johnstone out in the club’s first-ever appearance in the national tournament.
An estimated 15,000 fans will back the Perth club this afternoon – and even if they will be outnumbered by those sporting the colours of opponents Dundee United they will still travel in good heart and full of belief that this is their day after 129 years of striving to win a major trophy.
The St. Johnstone manager was certainly not lacking in confidence as he looked
forward to the biggest day in the club’s history.
“You hear people say that we think your name is on the cup and we’ve probably had that thought for a while. Even when we drew Aberdeen in the Semi-Final - when everyone thought Aberdeen would win - there was still that belief in the squad.
“I asked the players to create history by getting to the Final but the job isn’t done because we want to be the first St Johnstone team to win it.”
Tommy has not been short of injury problems for the clash with Jackie McNamara’s men – experienced midfielder Murray Davidson is absent, as is Tim Clancy who injured his Achilles tendon in training on Thursday.
“Unfortunately Tim Clancy got injured in training. It probably looks as if he needs an operation. There was nobody near him, it just popped so that’s really bad news for the player and the squad. Hopefully he will make a speedy recovery.
“Other than that, everybody is fully fit and ready to go.”
Whilst fully aware of exactly just how much victory would mean to everyone associated with the club, Wright did attempt to put a sense of perspective on theoccasion.
“Everyone has given us praise and plaudits for being the first St Johnstone team to get to the final. There is a level of excitement which has built up over the last seven days and the players are aware of the occasion and what it would mean to the club but when the whistle goes the players will only be concentrating on trying to win a game of football.
“You have to make sure they don’t let the occasion take over because if that happens, Dundee United are a very good side and we will end up not winning the cup. So we have to enjoy and embrace the occasion but don’t be overcome by it.”
One former St. Johnstone player who has sent a best wishes message is former player Sir Alex Ferguson who played for the Saints in the mid-1960’s.
The final word rested with Tommy.
“It is great for Scottish football that two Tayside clubs are in the final. I did say before the semi-final that St Johnstone in the final would be a great story. I am not feeling under pressure about it. Everybody seems to be happy that we are in the final, which is good - but as I said to the players, there is no point in us getting to the final and not winning it, and that is what we are hopefully going to do.”