Tommy Wright has called on St Johnstone’s stay-away supporters to check out his five-in-a-row team this weekend.
The Perth boss has been disappointed that years of sustained success haven’t been reflected in home attendances.
And if lapsed Saints fans were looking for a big game to make their return – Saturday’s fifth v fourth Premiership clash with Kilmarnock would be the perfect time, as Wright’s men seek to make it six league victories on the spin.
“It would be massive for us to get a good crowd this weekend,” said the Northern Irishman.
“Our attendances have been disappointing – we expected more and hoped for more.
“After winning the Scottish Cup we hoped for a spike in our crowds but it hasn’t happened.
“It disappointed me and I know it disappoints the chairman because the club have tried.
“The offer for families is probably the best in the league, so it’s hard to see what more can be done.
“What we do have is a very loyal hardcore. They have been brilliant and our away support is excellent.
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“As a percentage of the home gate, we take plenty of supporters away with us on the road.
“It’s at home we need people to come back and it’s the lapsed fans we need to get coming again.”
Wright added: “It’s difficult when people get out of the habit because they start doing other things and drift away.
“I think you have seen that happen to the attendances here over a long period of time.
“This has been something that has happened over 10 or 15 years. Once people drift away it’s very hard to get them back.
“This weekend should be a cracking game. Both teams are in form and up at the top end of the table.
“We are three points off the top of the league so I’d like to think some of the people who used to come but have got out of the habit will come along.
“Kilmarnock have had a traditionally bigger fan base than us and you have seen them get a spike since Steve Clarke went in there.
“They have benefitted from getting better crowds on the back of doing well.
“We have had plenty of success over the last few seasons so it would be massive for the club to get more people through the gates as well.”
The international break has helped a trio of Wright’s players recover from respective injuries.
He reported: “Tony Watt, Danny Swanson and Steven Anderson are all coming back into training this week.
“David Wotherspoon should be back from international duty on Tuesday night and I hope he doesn’t have jet lag because he didn’t play. If I was him I’d be wondering why they would take him away for 10 days.”
Brian Easton’s return will be further down the line.
Wright said: “Part of Easty’s treatment was to get another injection so we will see how that has worked.
“He was doing well before. After the second one you need a few days’ rest so hopefully he will be able to kick on again from here.
“It has been a hard time for him, it has been a long time and we are keen to get him back.”