13 Oct The Wright job
Lee Clark can see why St Johnstone may go unnoticed sometimes – but he insists there is no way his old friend Tommy Wright will have slipped off the radar when it comes to landing big jobs.
Wright has performed an impressive job since taking up the reins at Saints, leading the club to their first ever trophy with their 2014 William Hill Scottish Cup triumph on top of three successive top-six finishes.
But despite those achievements, the Northern Irishman has been overlooked time and again when it comes to landing big jobs both north and south of the border.
Clark has known the Perth boss since they were young apprentices on the books at Newcastle and reckons his friend’s no-fuss approach is a key ingredient in St Johnstone’s recent successes.
The Kilmarnock manager – who will come up against his former Magpies team-mate at McDiarmid on Saturday when they travel to the Fair City on Ladbrokes Premiership duty – sa id: ” St Johnstone are one of the teams I know more about that anybody because Tommy Wright is one of my very good friends and a team-mate for many years.
“I’ve known him since I was 16 or 17 and when he took over at Saints I’d keep an eye out for their results, even when I was working down south.
“I’ve worked with him as a coach too. When I was assistant manager to Glenn Roeder at Norwich we brought Tommy across to work with our goalkeepers.
“But we always felt the goalkeeping stuff wasn’t enough for him, he wanted to be the number one.
“He progressed in the right way. He went and worked as an assistant himself with Steve Lomas at Saints and, when Steve departed, St Johnstone made the right decision in giving Tommy his opportunity.”
Wright has made no secret of his desire to test himself at a higher level and Clark firmly believes it will not be long before his accomplishments are rewarded with a major promotion.
“He has had a great career and is rightly attracting attention both sides of the border,” added Clark.
“Will his chance to move to a bigger club come? Absolutely. It might be somewhere down south or something up here. It will be whatever is the best choice for Tommy.
“But there is no doubt he will be on the radar for jobs.
“He’s done a terrific job since the day he took over at Saints but everyone seems to get a bit complacent with him because they turn in great performances and results every time.
“They are a strong, powerful team that do the basics brilliantly well. A lot of matches are won on those basics. Saints just seem to get on with their work but that means they slip under people’s radar a bit.
“We’re well aware though that it will be another tough test.”