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St Johnstone boss Tommy Wright not surprised Alfredo Morelos lost appeal against red card

Alfredo Morelos, right, in action against Saints' Jason Kerr.
Alfredo Morelos, right, in action against Saints' Jason Kerr.

Tommy Wright wasn’t surprised Rangers failed in their bid to clear Alfredo Morelos after he saw red at Pittodrie.

And the St Johnstone boss admits he’s delighted the Colombian striker will have to sit out the weekend clash with his Perth side at Ibrox.

Morelos landed a three-match ban after being sent off in the 4-2 win over Aberdeen.

That prompted the Gers to appeal but they failed to overturn the sending-off for flicking out at Dons defender Scott McKenna.

It was 23-goal hitman Morelos (22) who snatched all three points from a tight December affair at McDiarmid Park with his late winner.

The Rangers talisman also struck in a 5-1 win at Ibrox earlier in the season.

Wright reckons any team would miss their most prolific scorer.

“I thought it was going to be difficult for Rangers to overturn his ban because the rules say there has to be an obvious error by the referee,” he said.

“While Rangers maybe benefited from previous incidents involving the player I didn’t think this one was ever going to be overturned.

“Morelos was the difference in our game at Perth when we lost 2-1.

“It is unfortunate for them obviously but good news for us because Morelos is the leading goalscorer in the league, and a top-quality player.

“We are pleased he isn’t going to be playing against us and on paper the task might look a little bit easier.

“But we know they have real quality players in the likes of Jermain Defoe and Kyle Lafferty ready to replace him.”

Saints head for Ibrox on a five-game losing sequence, which includes three defeats to Celtic, including a 5-0 Sunday setback which killed off their Scottish Cup hopes.

But with his players still protecting a top-six spot ahead of Motherwell, Hibs and Livingston, Wright is looking for a positive reaction.

“Rangers have been going well and have a great record at home,” he said.

“We are going there on the back of a few setbacks.

“But, as I said to my players right after the Celtic game on Sunday, we can’t let three defeats against arguably the best squad, who are playing the best football in the country at the minute, get us down too much.

“We have got to try and learn from it and move on quickly because we still have eight games before the break with a four point lead and a lot to play for in terms of staying in the top six.”

Meanwhile, forgotten Saints defender Brian Easton came through 45 minutes in a 1-1 draw with Rangers reserves.

The full-back has come through two groin operations and has set his sights on returning to the first team.

“There were a couple of times when I broke down that I thought I might never get back,” he admitted.

“It was brilliant getting back in amongst it after what has been more than a year out.

“It felt good to have that match day feeling again.

“The boys and staff we have got here have made it easier for me.

“At a different club it might have been harder to get through it.”

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