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Wright urges St Johnstone to build bigger cushion over relegation rivals

Tommy Wright admits St Johnstone will need a bigger cushion over their relegation rivals before he can rest easy.

The Perth boss has seen his side recover from a shaky start to climb their way up to ninth place in the Ladbrokes Premiership.

But Saints still sit perilously close – just two points – to the relegation play-off slot as they prepare for Wednesday night’s trip to Livingston.

Victory at the Tony Macaroni Arena could see Wright’s men eat into the lead of the teams above them and offer hope of a possible top-six finish.

But putting daylight between his team and the other sides scrapping it out at the bottom would certainly help the Northern Irishman sleep easier in the meantime.

He said: “We’re in that ninth position but there is only five points up to Livi in fifth, so there is a couple of teams we can look to close on over the next few games.

“But I think the important thing for us is to get away from the teams below us.

“Reaching the top six is our hope but I keep saying that ‘with a 12-team league you can never relax’.

“Three or four losses puts you at the wrong end of the table while three or four wins puts you at the right end.

“You can ever relax until the season is over.”

Livingston are again punching above their weight but Wright has sympathy for Gary Holt’s team, who he feels have an unfair image problem.

He said: “Livi are a physical side but they also play good football.

“The way people speak about them is a bit like us when we were finishing fourth in the league three years in a row.

“People said we were physical and spoke about long-ball this and long-ball that.

“Livi get that tag too. Yeah they are competitive but they do play good football.

“They have got people like Scott Pittman and Stevie Lawless, who has done great for them since he went there. Aymen Souda on the wing looks a real good find for them also.

“They can do both facets of the game. They can play a bit and mix it up as well.”