Brian Easton admits St Johnstone’s players are surprised to still have “terrific” Tommy Wright as boss.
The Northern Irishman is one of the names being linked with the vacant manager’s job at Rangers.
Wright guided Saints to their first Scottish Cup title in 2014 and has secured top-six finishes in the Ladbrokes Premiership in the three seasons he has been in charge.
The Perth side are sitting in fifth place this term and looking good for another top-half finish with a 10-point gap to seventh-placed Dundee.
And a head of the trip to Ross County on Saturday, left-back Easton revealed the players’ admiration for Wright.
The 28-year-old told Press Association Sport: “We joke about it and when his name comes up for a job somewhere, we say ‘he’s away to sign the papers’.
“Everyone knows he is a terrific manager.
“Most of the boys are surprised that he has not been snatched up by a bigger club.
“He is good, you can have a bit of banter with him as well.
“A few of the boys will give him a wee bit of stick about it but he takes it in his stride.
“It doesn’t surprise me when his name comes up for these jobs but the boys will be hoping he sticks around.”
Hearts are three points ahead of St Johnstone but fourth place could land a Europa League qualifying spot next season if any of the top three – currently Celtic, Aberdeen and Rangers – win the Scottish Cup.
Easton noted that all three have home draws in the quarter-final and said: “Europe is something that we want to get into.
“It is good for the club, the fans and as players you don’t imagine getting it all the time.
“We have managed it a few times in the past few years and we want it again.
“It is a tough one on Saturday because it is always a hard place to go.
“But we have done well up there in previous years so we are looking to get a positive result.”