Drey Wright has been as important for St Johnstone as James Forrest has been for Celtic, according to boss Tommy Wright.
But the Perth team can still thrive without him.
Saints are coming to terms with the news that their influential winger has been ruled out for the season with a serious knee injury.
Wright has several options to replace the former Colchester man on the right of his midfield – but putting Matty Kennedy back out wide will not be his first preference.
“I would be reluctant to move Matty from where he is at the minute,” he said.
“He’s looked like our most threatening striker.
“But the good thing with our squad is the depth we have. There are various options.
“There’s Kennedy if I had to, Swanson, Scougall, Wotherspoon and Alston.
“We’ve played 3-5-2 and won on both occasions so we’ve got flexibility. Drey played in the hole at Motherwell and didn’t play at Livingston. That was one of the good things about our recruitment.
“The squad will adapt.
“Go back a few years – we lost Murray (Davidson) and still won the Scottish Cup. These things happen in football.
“The rest of the team have to step up. That’s their challenge.”
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On the impact Wright has had since signing in the summer, his manager said: “Listen, it’s a blow.
“He hasn’t got the goals that Forrest has got at Celtic but he’s been as good for us as Forrest has been for Celtic.
“He’s been so important.”
It won’t be until after the knee is operated on that Wright will put a timescale on the 23-year-old’s expected period of recovery.
“Until you get the operation and the final report after it, we won’t have a definite time,” he said. “These injuries take between six and 12 months.
“The main thing is we get him the best treatment.
“The surgery will be done in England and we have somebody in mind.
“It’s a blow but it’s part and parcel of the game. He has to deal with it and we have to deal with it.
“We’ll get him back to full fitness. The ideal situation is he’ll be back for pre-season but we can’t say that at this stage.”
Meanwhile, Wright insisted that it is not certain on-loan midfielder Tristan Nydam will be heading back to Ipswich Town in a few weeks.
The midfielder hasn’t had much first team action since he arrived at McDiarmid Park in the last week of the summer transfer window but there is still time for that to change.
“His loan is until January and it will be assessed,” said Wright.
“He hasn’t played as many games as he would have liked – he probably wasn’t match fit when he came – but there is a lot of football to be played before January.
“The team has done well since he’s been here.
“I’ve been in contact with the guy who deals with loans at Ipswich and he knows the situation.
“I would have liked him to play more, and so would they, but he hasn’t for various reasons.
“It can change very quickly and we’ll look at it again in January. If he plays four or five games the situation will have changed.”