Tommy Wright looking to add more silverware to his collection

St Johnstone manager Tommy Wright
St Johnstone manager Tommy Wright

No matter what else he achieves in his managerial career Tommy Wright will always have the distinction of leading St. Johnstone to their first-ever major trophy success.

And on Saturday afternoon he will be looking to take a significant step forward towards a second triumph when he leads his team out to face Hibernian at Tynecastle.

The former Northern Ireland international was in no doubt just what lifting the Scottish League Cup would mean both to the club and to him personally.

“It’d be tremendous for us to win two trophies in a short space of time but we’ve a long way to go, we’ve got a difficult game against a good side but that’s the beauty of cup football.

!It gives clubs like ours the opportunity to achieve something special.

“I know after winning the Scottish Cup my mate said it’ll not get any better. If he says it again if we win this I think he’ll probably be right.”

There is no doubting that the experience of that 2014 Scottish Cup success – when firstly Aberdeen then Dundee United were defeated in the semi-finals and final respectively – will be of benefit to the Perth outfit as Tommy acknowledged.

“You hope that the experience will help them - but we won’t know until Saturday. It’s a game we’re looking forward to, and having that experience will help.

“It’s hard to say if we’re a better team than 2014. I think the depth in the squad in terms of quality is a lot better now than it was in the Scottish Cup but that team won something, so until the next team does it’s difficult to say they are better.”

Despite opponents Hibernian being in the Championship, there is no question that the Edinburgh side have the bigger budget – but Tommy denied being envious.

“It would be nice if we could - for example when we sold Stevie May –have strengthened the squad but we needed to put money into other areas of the club and we weren’t able to.

“However we work extremely hard and it proves that if you do that and get the right type of players - in terms of character - you can still have a successful team and squad on a relatively modest budget.

“I think our Chairman is Mr No! However to be fair I think most managers will tell you that’s always the first answer you get but it’s also about the twentieth answer I get as well - it’s still no…”

Wright of course originally arrived at St. Johnstone alongside compatriot Steve Lomas before succeeding to the manager’s chair in 2013 – and outlined the financial restrictions he has faced.

“I know when Steve and myself were first brought over the budget was a lot higher, it was reduced in his first full season and reduced even more when I took over.

“It has been pretty stable the last three seasons, and to have three semi-finals, one Scottish Cup success, sixth and fourth in the League, and qualify for Europe – that’s something to look back on with a lot of pride.

“Maybe with a bigger budget you might make more mistakes and spend it foolishly - but I don’t think I’m that type. However I’d like to find out…”

Tommy was full of praise for the job done by his Easter Road counterpart Alan Stubbs.

“He’s got a good crop of young players. He’s got a nice balance in his squad and with Anthony Stokes and Kevin Thomson coming in he’s added experience. They’ve recruited well. It just shows you the size of the club.”