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Wright welcomes lift provided by midweek win

St Johnstone boss Tommy Wright highlighted the benefits of a welcome midweek victory as he prepared for Saturday’s Ladbrokes Premiership clash with Motherwell at Fir Park.

A narrow 1-0 win over bottom side St Mirren at McDiarmid Park on Wednesday night was the home side’s first triumph in 10 matches in all competitions.

The result took the Perth men one point above the Steelmen with three games remaining before the split and the Northern Irishman believes his players will be buoyed for the trip to Lanarkshire.

“It maybe wasn’t the performance we wanted but it should give us a lift going into the Motherwell match,” Wright told the club’s official website.

“We hadn’t won in a while and that probably made the players feel a bit nervy in the latter stages but we held out and picked up an important three points.

“We’re under no illusions that it’s going to be a difficult game but it makes all the difference going into it on the back of a win.

“We’ve now reached 41 points and 12 wins – we achieved 12 wins in the whole of last season so that shows we’ve definitely improved.

“It’s tougher than ever this year to get into the top six and we know now that we can afford no more slip-ups. The same can be said for Motherwell too so it’s a big game for both sides.

“We’ve got three games now and we may need to win all three if we’re going to make it but our focus is on Motherwell and making sure we can get the win at Fir Park tomorrow.”

Saints won 1-0 at Motherwell in October with Stephen Robinson’s side gaining revenge with a 2-1 victory in December and Wright is expecting another tough test.

He said: “They had a pretty poor start to the season and I think they were sitting in and around the bottom three before Christmas.

“Then they managed to put together six or seven wins on the bounce and it’s transformed their season.

“Everyone is talking about how good a campaign they’re having but we’re one point ahead of them.

“All credit to Stephen because they’ve done very well. They changed their system and now play more of a 4-3-3 and young players like (Jake) Hastie have come in and made a big difference.

“It’s going to be a difficult game but we’ve done our homework. We’ve assessed them and I’ll select a team which will hopefully take care of their strengths and exploit their weaknesses.”