Tommy Wright applauds St Johnstone ‘restraint’ at Dens Park

Tommy Wright and Neil McCann are kept apart.

Tommy Wright has applauded his St Johnstone players and staff for their “restraint” at Dens Park.

The Perth boss believes TV footage has backed up his initial belief that nobody from his club had acted improperly on the touchline after the final whistle of Saturday’s Tayside derby against Dundee.

And the feedback he has received over the weekend has also reinforced that opinion.

“We have been vindicated by the footage of what happened after the game,” said Wright.

“It quite clearly shows we were the ones trying to restrain things and weren’t the aggressors in any of it.

“Zander did put his hand on Neil’s shoulder but he was acting as a peacemaker and trying to keep him away from our kit man.

“I’m not sure what triggered it.

“They had a go at Steven MacLean during the match and I had a go back at them. But it was nothing, par for the course really.

“We are all passionate about the game. Neil has said about himself in the past that he is a fiery character.

“But nothing had been simmering and I don’t know why Manny (the Saints kitman) should be singled out.

“I suppose the onus is on the other side to explain their actions.

“I spoke to the referee and the match delegate after the game and they had no problems with our behaviour. In fact we have had praise over the weekend about how restrained we were.

“I was there obviously so I know what happened. So we had no concerns about our behaviour on the day but it is good the evidence is there to back us up.”

Wright’s post-match celebrations in front of the travelling Saints fans didn’t help Neil McCann’s mood but Wright does not feel any apology is due on that score either.

“My celebrations with the fans happened after the incident,” he said. “But maybe that’s why people waited for me at the top of the stairs to the dressing room.

“But if you can’t celebrate with your own fans let’s all shut the doors and stay in the house.

“I saw Brendan Rodgers celebrate his win over Rangers but I didn’t see Graeme Murty go for Celtic’s kit man.

“Look, it was a massive result for us and in a derby. I have had no problem with other managers celebrating a win over us and this was done with our fans and not at the Dundee end.

“If that annoys people it is a sad world we live in.

“Hopefully a line can be drawn under it and our total focus is on the Hibs game.”

Talking football, Wright couldn’t have been happier with what he saw on the pitch against Dundee.

He said: “It was a great performance from us and arguably the best of the season in terms of the quality, the energy and winning battles all over the pitch.

“Everyone did their jobs and that was pleasing.

“I decided to put the most experienced team on the pitch that I could for what was a big game. The three points were massive for us.

“We knew they liked to play from the back and the conditions didn’t really suit that.

“But you have to go out and execute the game plan and they did that with their energy and work-rate.

“The younger ones also played their part. Scott Tanser is only 23. He was aggressive and we want to see more of that from him.

“Jason Kerr had started the game at Kilmarnock really well, made a wee mistake and was sent off. He showed a lot of character.

“Chris Kane is in the same bracket. He’s still learning. He got a flea in his ear after the Killie game and responded in the right way.

“He gave a good, experienced defender like Steven Caulker a tough afternoon, along with Josh Meekins. His strength and composure for the second was very impressive.”

Jason Kerr’s red card appeal hearing will take place on Thursday.

“We know these things are difficult to overturn but we will go there with enough points to make them think about it,” said Wright.