St Johnstone boss Tommy Wright believes adding goals to his game could turn David Wotherspoon into the complete package.
The midfielder has been a near-ever present since he moved to the Perth club and Wright feels that the 24-year-old has what it takes to play at an even higher level if he can increase his goalscoring tally.
“Goals are really the one thing that’s missing from David’s game and I think if he was getting into double figures in terms of goals a season he wouldn’t be here,” said the Saints manager.
“He’d be getting a move down to England.
“It’s often overlooked the number of assets he has, and he has got a big number of assists in his game which, if you are not scoring as a midfielder, is very important.
“I was delighted to get him at the time and he’s performed at a consistently high level since I brought him here.
“As a team we had a dip but they’ve all come out of it as individuals.
“You don’t have to dip that much in this league to lose games.
“But cnsistently David has been one of our best performers since I brought him to the club, so it was a decision I felt we had to make on Saturday to bring him back.
“Lee Croft was unlucky not to come back straight back into the team on Saturday but David has done well.
“Crofty came on and we moved David into the role James plays and he did extremely well in it.
“I think the thing with the likes of David and Michael O’Halloran in the team, it gives us a bit of flexibility.
“Michael can go and play left, right or up top, David can play left, right or in behind the striker, so it allows us flexibility to change things without changing how we play.”
Following the departure of striker Stevie May, Wright has been keen to see more goals from all of his squad not just Wotherspoon this season.
“I think we need to get more goals from throughout the team, and that’s what needs to happen for us to push on,” he continued.
“Brian Graham has chipped in with goals, Michael has chipped in with goals, so we need the likes of David, Lee, Liam Caddis, Simon Lappin, Murray Davidson to do so as well.
“I’ll leave out Chris Millar because I don’t wan’t to jinx him!
“But when you don’t have a striker scoring nearly 30 goals a season you need to find goals from elsewhere.
“A lot of Stevie May’s goals won us games because we kept clean sheets as well.
“Our defensive record wasn’t that bad, but now we’re back to the second best defensive record in the league.
“We’ve looked more like ourselves in the last few weeks which is being difficult to beat and able to play a wee bit when we have the ball.
“We’ve looked a threat and that’s been the pleasing aspect of the run.”
Wright confirmed that James McFadden will indeed miss this weekend’s home game against Inverness with a hamstring injury, although he highlighted the importance of not rushing him back with some big games coming up.
“James will miss out this week, which is disappointing, but with the circumstances that Brian Graham can’t play against Dundee United it’s imperative that we have James fit,” he continued.
“He’ll train sometime next week if everything goes well.
“The good thing was that he felt it tightening up and came off straight away he didn’t try and play on with it which could have done more damage.
“We’ll hopefully have him back for the United game which is probably the most important thing we can do.”
Wright went on to confirm that talks have started with several players about new deals for next season and beyond, although he wasn’t in a position to name names at this stage.
He concluded: “We’re in negotiations with one or two players about new deals, we’re in negotiations with one or two of the younger ones as well, but it’s a slow process.”