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Mark Hateley eyes Wright move

By James Tait

Former Scottish football star Mark Hateley believes St Johnstone boss Tommy Wright is on track to become one of the UK's most sought-after managers.

Ballyclare-man Wright, who will lead the Saints into the Scottish Cup final tomorrow hoping to end their 130-year wait for the coveted trophy, has earned plaudits throughout his first year in charge for the attacking style of football he has introduced.

He wrote his name into the St Johnstone history books at the beginning of his tenure in July 2013, overseeing a 2-1 aggregate win over Rosenborg in the second round qualifying stage of the Europa League, including a 1-0 win in Norway – the Saints' first ever away European success.

Although they lost to Minsk on penalties in the next round, Wright had already installed a fearless attitude at McDiarmid Park.

The Saints took the belief from their adventure in Europe and applied it to their domestic campaign and will now end the season in the top six with a genuine chance of clinching Scottish football's showpiece prize at Celtic Park this weekend.

Hateley, who won the Scottish Cup twice during his time with Rangers, said: "I'm not surprised by Tommy's achievements, I think he has done a wonderful job – as did Derek McInnes before him. I think Tommy has taken the club onto the next level from where Derek left it.

"His achievements have been incredible. He's very enthusiastic, he knows what he's doing, he's got a nice little outfit together and no doubt he'll build another team during the summer.

"No disrespect to St Johnstone, but I think if Tommy keeps going in this direction then bigger fish will come calling sooner rather than later.

"St Johnstone have a very good chance this weekend. I've seen them a few times this season and they're capable of beating anybody on the day.

"Cup finals are cup finals – sometimes they take the wind out of your sails and sometimes the wind fills your sails.

"I think it'll be a really good final because both teams like to play football. Tommy will be passionately fired up for the match – we've seen how his team play and they'll be ready for the challenge."

Belfast Telegraph


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