The “conspiracy theorists” put two and two together to get five when Matty Kennedy didn’t make St Johnstone’s match day squad at the weekend, Tommy Wright has insisted.
And it was his current team’s Scottish Cup fifth round draw that has captured the winger’s imagination – not the team he will be joining in the summer.
Kennedy is in contention to play against Livingston tomorrow after recovering from a training ground injury and Aberdeen haven’t come up with a deal that will change that.
“Matty took a kick on his ankle in training last week and didn’t recover in time to play,” said Wright.
“He’s due to train today and should be in the squad for Wednesday.
“I know people will be thinking I’ve got to say that and the conspiracy theorists will think he was left out because it was the cup.
“But they don’t know Matty. He’s genuine and wants to play in every game.
“The first thing he said when he came in this morning was about getting Ayr in the next round of the Scottish Cup.
“He’s desperate to play in that one because he’s from there and he said that was the tie he’d been hoping for.
“So that tells you everything about what type of lad he is.
“At no point has he come to me or his agent has come to me to say he’s demanding to go in this window.”
Wright added: “Matty staying won’t be a problem.
“We handled a situation like this before with Liam Craig, who was excellent for us in the three or four months after he’d decided to go to Hibs.
“I always think the one thing that can affect players is uncertainty but there is no uncertainty here. He’s going to Aberdeen in the summer.
“I have been quite clear that I don’t want him to go in this window and have told the club that.
“But I do know everyone has their price.
“At this stage there hasn’t been an agreement between Aberdeen and us.
“Derek has been really good. He’s one of the managers who is on the phone keeping you up to date with stuff in these situations.
“He’s been great about it. We spoke over the weekend but Matty is still very much our player.
“I don’t think this will drag on to the end of the window. It will get to the point where Aberdeen will say this won’t happen or we get to the stage where we think we have to do something.
“But I don’t want us to lose him until the summer. I’m perfectly clear about that.”
With Kennedy leaving McDiarmid Park at the end of the season, securing fellow winger Drey Wright on a new contract becomes an even bigger priority for Saints.
Wright said: “I can only propose things and actually advised the club to give Drey a new contract when he was out injured.
“People might think that was crazy but my way of looking at it was it helps him with his recovery because he has that security and it protects your asset for when he does come back.
“Drey wants to stay and his agent has told me that as well.
“People will say that folk say these things, but I’ve spoken to the pair of them and I trust what they’re telling me.
“He’s come up here and is enjoying his football. He thinks it has been a good move for him and sees this as the place he wants to be.”
Wright expects big things from the Englishman in the second part of the season.
“Everyone saw how good Drey was for us before his injury and when he came back to training he was as good, if not better, than he had been,” he said.
“But what happens in nearly every case of a player who has been out for a long time is you get that initial burst when you come back and it levels off for a while.
“That has happened with Drey but I can see him getting back to his best and he’s ready to kick on again.
“He’s been getting better with every game.
“I don’t want to lose him, it’s hard enough to bring quality like him in so you don’t want to be letting them go.”
After knocking Morton out of the cup it is back to league business at Livingston tomorrow.
Wright said: “Saturday was a good result and we were glad to get through because you always worry about a bit of rustiness after time off like that.
“I think a few managers mentioned that about their teams over the weekend.
“We got it done, it’s out of the way and now we focus on a tough game against Livingston.
“They are having another good season. They’re a team I really admire because they can play good football but equally they’re able to mix it up and be physical if that’s what required.
“It’s very difficult when you go there but we are in a good place at the moment.
“We’ve had five clean sheets in six games so that’s something we will look to continue and hopefully start adding more goals as well.”
Danny Swanson was ill last week and isn’t yet in contention.
Meanwhile, Madis Vihmann is “likely to leave” in this transfer window, Wright has confirmed.