LADBROKES Premiership Player of the Month Michael O’Halloran yesterday credited Tommy Wright with getting his career back on track.
After playing bit parts under Mark Warburton following his £500,000 move to Rangers last year, the attacker found himself frozen out by Portuguese successor Pedro Caixinha.
But four goals since securing a loan move have elevated the 26-year-old to the top of the scoring charts and helped Saints maintain an undefeated start to the league campaign.
O’Halloran, who was originally brought to Perth from Bolton, is enjoying his football again after making just a handful of starts for Rangers last term.
He said: “Coming here was like putting on an old pair of boots. The staff have been brilliant with me. It’s like I’ve never been away I suppose.
“Obviously the lads as well have been brilliant. It’s a real family club and I’m getting that same vibe the first time I walked in. It’s good to be back somewhere in an environment I’m comfortable in.
“Tommy Wright is a very good man manager. He’s very good tactically as well but he knows his players and how to get the best out of them.
“He knows me as a person, as well as a player. I feel he knows how to get the best from me and I always want to go out and do my best for him and for the team.”
O’Halloran trained by himself over a short summer break to ensure he would hit the ground running if Rangers sanctioned a return to McDiarmid Park.
He added: “I think when you’re not playing you’ve got to do that extra bit. That’s something I’ve always done. But it’s frustrating come a Saturday when you’ve no game so you’ve got to go and do that extra bit of running.
“Anybody will tell you that when you’re not playing it is frustrating. You train every week for the Saturday and by the end I wasn’t even getting involved with the squad at Rangers, which was really disappointing.
“It was a frustrating time but I know in football you’ve got be ready for any opportunity to come and St Johnstone came in and for me it was a no brainer.”
O’Halloran was alerted to Caixinha’s recent comments stating he “wasn’t the type of player we need” when he picked up the papers.
“Obviously I’d heard about them,” he said. “I know my position there now. It’s clear. I’m just concentrating on being at St Johnstone.
“To not be given a chance and then told I had no future there like that is not nice. But that is football. I am only concentrating now on playing. I am happy at St. Johnstone.
“I’m not sure about the future. I’m still contracted to Rangers at the minute so I can’t say anything on that. It’ll be interesting come January.
“I am happy right now where I am. I’m thriving playing for a manager who appreciates me and for a team who appreciates me.”