Europa League: Late goal boosts hopes of St Johnstone boss Tommy Wright
Last Updated: 03/08/14 7:33pm
St Johnstone's injury-time strike gave manager Tommy Wright a glimmer of hope for the second leg of their Europa League third qualifying round against Spartak Trnava next week.
However, the McDiarmid Park boss has warned his squad they will have no chance of progressing if they play as they did in the first half of their 2-1 defeat at home on Thursday evening.
A double from Ivan Schranz had the Slovakians cruising to victory but Wright believes Dave Mackay's 93rd-minute consolation leaves their quest for a play-off spot still in the balance ahead of the return meeting in Trnava.
Wright, who admitted his side had missed injured striker Stevie May, said: "I hope the late goal gives us hope. It means the tie isn't over, but we've got to do a lot better if we're going to give ourselves a chance.
"We can't play for 15 minutes at the start of the second half and five or 10 minutes at the end and expect to beat teams that are technically very good. We as much played into their hands as they were good because we didn't perform in the first half.
"That was the most disappointing thing. We gave away too much possession in bad areas and our decision-making was poor. It made the first half a long half, it was all too easy.
"We've got a chance. The tie's still alive but we've got to play better. We don't do it very often where we're outworked or outcompeted, but that's what it was. They got a lot of second ball and with the quality they have they hurt us.
"The real St Johnstone have to turn up (next week). If it's like we were in the first half we'll be out of it."
Spartak counterpart Juraj Jarabek was delighted with his team's victory but insists his team are aware the tie is not yet over.
He said: "I think it was a deserved result because we played a very good first half. We got the chances for two goals which we got and I believe there was a third hanging there.
"But St Johnstone are a very good team and they will fight until the last minute, just as they did tonight."