Football - Millar planning welcome back party

St Johnstone midfielder Chris Millar is aiming to welcome Tommy Wright back with another victory after winning both matches during the enforced absence of their manager.

PA Sport Report

Wright is set to be at McDiarmid Park on Saturday for the visit of Partick Thistle after recovering from a gall bladder operation.

The Perth club beat Hibernian and St Mirren while the Northern Irishman was in hospital, securing the final place in the Scottish Premiership's top six in the process.

Millar believes the professionalism of the squad, coupled with the coaching of Callum Davidson and Alex Cleland, ensured they performed well despite Wright's absence, but he is sure his return will give them another lift.

"We have an experienced squad here and boys who have been here for a number of years," the 30-year-old said.

"When it comes to a Saturday, everyone is focused, and we train hard every week.

"Callum and Eck (Cleland) generally do a lot of the coaching anyway and the gaffer manages it.

"So nothing has changed there and Callum has been in contact with the gaffer throughout the week when he has not been here.

"Everyone wants the manager to be about. He has had his operation and it will be good to have him about the boys again. Hopefully he can influence us and kick us on."

Saints clinched third place last season after pipping Inverness on the final day and they are now only four points behind Caley Thistle.

And with William Hill Scottish Cup glory in their sights, Millar is determined to keep their momentum going.

"Obviously the teams in third are maybe a wee bit out of reach but that's four wins in six games in the league and if we can do that hopefully we can claw up another couple of places and finish as high as possible," he said.

"We've still got a lot to play for. We've got a semi-final coming up against Aberdeen, there are places to play for, and it's bonus money and bonus position money as well. So we are looking to finish the season strongly."

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