Alec Cleland: Interim manager says St Johnstone will ‘get right man’ in boss search

Spread the love

Alec Cleland, right, was part of the coaching staff when Tommy Wright, centre, led St Johnstone to Scottish Cup glory in 2014St Johnstone fans can “rest assured the club will make the right decision” in choosing Tommy Wright’s successor, says interim manager Alec Cleland.Wright, 56, quit on Saturday after seven years in charge.The top-flight club’s…

Spread the love

Alec Cleland, right, was part of the coaching staff when Tommy Wright, centre, led St Johnstone to Scottish Cup glory in 2014

Alec Cleland, right, was part of the coaching staff when Tommy Wright, centre, led St Johnstone to Scottish Cup glory in 2014

St Johnstone fans can “rest assured the club will make the right decision” in choosing Tommy Wright’s successor, says interim manager Alec Cleland.

Wright, 56, quit on Saturday after seven years in charge.

The top-flight club’s search for a manager will start once it is known when football will resume, but Cleland – reportedly a frontrunner – did not say whether he wants the job full-time.

“I know they will get the right man for St Johnstone,” Cleland told Saints TV.

“I think the fans look at how the club has conducted itself when the manager process does come up. It doesn’t come up a lot, but in my 10 years here the three managers – Derek McInnes, Steve Lomas and Tommy Wright – the fans have got to be happy with the appointments that were made.

“So whatever process the club goes through, it’s a very good one and it works.

“The fans, players and staff can feel confident that whatever decision the club makes on the next St Johnstone manager, it will be the right decision because in the past it has been.”

Wright led the Perth club to their first Scottish Cup success in 2014 and five consecutive top-six finishes before departing with two years left on his contract.

Cleland, promoted to assistant in 2018, admits the Northern Irishman’s exit was a shock, but is convinced his “legacy will carry on” when a replacement is found.

And the 49-year-old says the planning he is doing alongside head of football operations Kirsten Robertson and coaches Alan Maybury and Paul Mathers behind the scenes will “move the club forward”.

“We will look at the present staff here, the contracts coming up for renewal, we’ll look at the youth, who’s coming through, who’s going to be here for next season,” Cleland added.

“So we’ll put in place some structures to take back to the chairman. Anybody coming in, we’re ready to move forward with whatever happens when we come out of this.

“If we need to play the rest of the season, we’ve got enough players. We’re preparing for next season as well and discussing a lot of things with Kirsten and the board on how to move forward. So we are well prepared.

“All the good things Tommy put in place, we will try to push that on and keep the club going in the right direction.”