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Craig Levein struggled to take many positives from St Johnstone’s 3-1 defeat by Hibernian, but seeing his squad bolstered by two fit-again players offered some encouragement.

With Saints trailing 3-0 to goals from Emiliano Marcondes and substitutes Paul Hanlon and Dylan Vente, the St Johnstone boss made changes.

Attacker Drey Wright came off the bench on the hour mark as part of a triple substitution to make his first appearance since October after a knee injury and then in the 84th minute midfielder Cammy MacPherson was introduced for his first appearance since November following a thigh problem.

Fellow substitute Benjamin Kimpioka scored a consolation goal late on.

With four fixtures remaining, Saints are one point ahead of Ross County in the cinch Premiership relegation play-off spot, with the Dingwall outfit losing 2-0 to bottom side Livingston in West Lothian.

Levein told SaintsTV: “It was a difficult game for those two to get minutes in. As a team we weren’t really fluent in our play, our passing, our attack.

“But yeah, to see them both on the field, we still have four games left and at some point in those four games, I’m sure they’ll be able to help us.

“We are in the same place as we were before the match with regards Ross County, so it wasn’t too damaging.

“But the fact that we didn’t pick up any points was the disappointment.

“I thought we’re better in the second half. But at the same time, a 2-0 lead against us, I didn’t feel we did enough to get back and claim a point. So a disappointing afternoon.”