St Johnstone captain Steven Anderson claims that fans will one day look upon manager Tommy Wright’s reign as a golden era for the club – but insisted that their primary ambition for the new season is to finish at least 10th and avoid being sucked into a relegation battle.
“When you are in the middle of it, you don’t really think about it; you just try to do better every season,” said the 31-year-old, who should make his 400th appearance for his only senior club against Partick Thistle in the Betfred Cup on Tuesday.
“But maybe in a few years’ time we might look back on this period and realise how good it was.”
Wright led Saints to a first-ever Scottish Cup win in 2014 and has helped them to qualify for Europe in each of the last four seasons but Anderson insists that no-one at McDiarmid Park has ideas above their station.
“The objective every year is the same – stay up,” he said. “We don’t have the biggest budget so only once we accomplish that ambition do we start to look at the top half of the table.
“We won’t get carried away just because we did well last season. Staying up is the first priority and then we’ll see what happens after that.”
Like many observers, Anderson can’t believe that Wright has not been lured away by a richer club after all the success he’s enjoyed since replacing Steve Lomas in 2013.
“It’s a bit strange that he’s not been linked with other jobs but it’s great for us and long may it continue,” he grinned.
“There’s no secret to what we do – hard work is key. If you look at our stats, it’s all about the effort we put in. Then you look for that bit of quality at the top of the park which, thankfully, we have had in the last few years.
“We don’t really consider ourselves a top-six club even although we have been there for the past six years.
“I don’t think you can do that. You know what this league is like – we can all beat each other.
“Clubs have been investing too – just look at Hibs. So we know it’s going to be hard again this season.
“We’ll just keep our heads down. If we get a bad result then we work harder and things will turn.”
The return of speed king Michael O’Halloran on loan from Rangers has also boosted Wright’s squad.
“It was a no-brainer for Mikey,” claims Anderson. “He knows the environment, he knows the boys, the gaffer likes him and he thrived the last time he was with us.
“Hopefully, he can do the same again.”