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Aug 31, 2019 at 3pm UK at McDiarmid Park
Attendance: 3,427
St Johnstone
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O'Donnell (40')

Tommy Wright: "The players should be full of confidence"

Wright got his number-one target in the transfer market when he completed the re-signing of May.

St Johnstone boss Tommy Wright feels the double lift of their late equaliser at Hibernian and the return of Stevie May should give his players confidence ahead of Kilmarnock's visit.

Wright celebrated the last-gasp point at Easter Road in some style before finally getting his number-one target in the transfer market when he completed the re-signing of May from Aberdeen following protracted negotiations.

Wright told Saints TV: "The players should be full of confidence, there was a big improvement in our performance last week and we showed great character to come from behind twice.

"We had lots of possession and created a large amount of chances away from home which was very pleasing.

"The players have trained well this week and there's been a lift with Stevie signing and players returning from injury – it's the first time I've had a full squad to pick from this season.

"I'm looking forward to it and the players are too. Hopefully we can build on our performance from last week and get our first victory of the campaign."

After seeing the deal fall through at the last minute in July, Wright welcomed May back to McDiarmid Park on his 56th birthday on Thursday.

"We always knew he hadn't given up hope of us trying to resurrect it. His motivation to come back kept us going to get a deal done.

"I'm glad he's home, back in the building and I look forward to working with him.

"The main thing is we have a striker who I feel will score goals for us. I'm sure the dressing room will be buzzing and I'm sure it will give the fans a big lift."

May scored 27 goals in his final season in Perth before netting a total of 16 combined during the next five years, which encompassed spells at Sheffield Wednesday, Preston and Aberdeen.

But Wright said: "He's come back to score goals and I want the Stevie May of old, the kid who was selfish in front of goal, getting loads of shots off all the time, playing high up the pitch, playing on people's shoulders, getting in the box and doing what he is good at.

"Even though the goals have maybe dried up in recent years, I believe a goalscorer is always a goalscorer, and Stevie has proved he can score goals at his level."

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St Johnstone manager Tommy Wright pictured in January 2016
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