Tommy disappointed with opening day defeat to Killie

Saturday 4th August

Following today’s 2-0 defeat to Kilmarnock at Rugby Park Tommy Wright spoke about his disappointment about the performance and the result.

Second half goals from Scott Boyd and Mikael Ndjoli handed the hosts the 3 points on the opening day of the 2018/19 Ladbrokes Scottish Premiership.

He said “I’m not pleased with the performance. It was frustrating for me and I am sure it was also frustrating for the supporters. We have tried since the first day coming back and all the games in pre-season and the Betfred Cup games to try and be braver on the ball and I made the decision today to play one-up because I felt we needed three centre backs to deal with their physicality. That was fine because they didn’t create much in the first half but the problem was when we got the ball back we kept giving it away. We didn’t pass the ball well and people were not brave enough to get on it.

“At half time we talked about a few things but the second half was similar to the first in that we had too many errors throughout the game that got the home crowd behind them. Simple things such as miskicks from the goalkeeper and stuff like that gives them chances and it got the crowd behind them and it ended up being a difficult afternoon for us.

“The two goals sum it up. The first goal we get caught on a free kick. They changed what we discussed about who picks up who, so the players have got to put their hands up and accept that. Then the second goal; a simple 10-yard pass on the halfway line, we can’t complete it and Ndjoli runs 30 yards and puts it in the top corner.

“Too many mistakes, too many players under par. I would say that only Steven Anderson, Jason Kerr and Matty Kennedy, when we got him on the ball, were the only ones that had any sort of performance that was acceptable. We also couldn’t judge Tony Watt as we didn’t give him good enough service.”

Next up for Saints is a tough home game against Hibernian next Sunday and Tommy went on to look ahead to that game.

“If we play like we did today then we will not get much out of the game. I am hoping that there will be an improvement and that we will get a reaction. It’s a different game as Hibs will cause us different types of problems than Kilmarnock have.

“We have got to dust ourselves down. You can lose games as you can’t win every game and I have been in football long enough to know that. However, it’s how you lose and today we didn’t compete and didn’t do well on the ball and that will need to be improved for next week.”

Finally, last Sunday Saints were handed a trip to Palmerston Park for a second round tie against Queen of the South in the Betfred Cup and Tommy gave his thoughts on the draw.

“It’s a tough draw. Obviously, everyone will remember that they knocked us out of the Scottish Cup a few years back. Stephen Dobbie in particular is a real goal threat. There is a lot of football to be played before then but we will go there and look to progress in the competition.”

Interview by Daryl Scott