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Referee makes right call but Wright still thinks he's wrong

Tommy Wright, the St Johnstone manager, was yesterday contacted by referee Brian Colvin after he took charge of a controversial match at McDiarmid Park on Saturday. The Perth side were reduced to nine men as both Steven Anderson and Alan Mannus were sent off during the 3-3 draw with Hearts.

The Edinburgh side also had Ryan Stevenson dismissed.

The phone call from Colvin would not convince St Johnstone to accept the red card shown to Anderson and the Perth club have decided to appeal the decision having looked back at footage of his challenge on Dale Carrick. However, Mannus' red card will not be contested and the goalkeeper will be missing from tonight's rearranged league match away to Partick Thistle, with Steve Banks to play in his stead.

Tam Scobbie had served as interim replacement for Mannus on Saturday after the goalkeeper was sent off during a heated incident with Stevenson. It was an episode likely to have come up in the conversation Wright had with Colvin yesterday morning.

"Brian called me to go over Saturday's events and I really appreciate that," said the St Johnstone manager. "What was said will remain private but I want to thank him for taking the time to call. For me that's a real step forward.

"I spoke to him after the game as well and we had a good chat. He didn't phone about one specific issue. He phoned because there were so many incidents to talk about.

"Brian is a good guy and I think I've got a good relationship with the referees. You have to have mutual respect because we're in a game where decisions have to be made. None of us get them right all the time. I realise that and I'm grateful to Brian for calling to chat about things."

Wright has also been in contact with midfielder Murray Davidson, whose season has been ended by a knee injury suffered against Hearts. He is scheduled to have surgery today and his manager has intimated that the Scotland internationalist is in good spirits, even if he has not always been lucid.

"We've been getting some crazy texts because of the morphine," said Wright, who also confirmed that kitman Tommy Campbell has been released from hospital following a heart scare during Saturday's draw.

"Muzz is in good spirits and is actually really annoyed he didn't get his chance to go in goals when big Al was sent off. He takes the gloves near the end of training most days."

St Johnstone remain determined in their efforts to get their hands on David Goodwillie - who the club want to sign on loan from Blackburn Rovers - but Wright is unwilling to wait too much longer for an answer. "There will come a time when we might have to take the bull by the horns and maybe pull the plug on it. But we're not at that stage yet."

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