Leaves Saints after 7 years

Tommy looks Wright for Northern Ireland job

Break: Tommy Wright (pic: SNS Group)

Tommy Wright is the odds-on favourite to become the new manager of Northern Ireland after leaving St Johnstone.

Wright quit the Perth club after seven years in charge saying he “needed a break”.

However, the 56-year-old, who still had two years left of his contract to run in Perth, may not be out of a job for too long.

Bookmakers have slashed his odds to replace Michael O’Neill from an initial 5/1 to 10/11, ahead of Northern Ireland U21 manager Ian Baraclough and Motherwell’s Stephen Robinson.

“It was something that was being considered for a while,” said Wright, who won 31 caps as goalkeeper for Northern Ireland.

“We made the decision that we’d see if in the next couple of years we could bring the age of the squad down and then it might be time for me to move on. Fortunately we’ve done that.

“I felt that when you’re at a club for such a length of time sometimes there just comes a point when I needed a break. It’s a tough job. It is 365 days a year and it is 24 hours a day.

“I just felt, particularly this season, if we could have got to the end of it and done well then it would be the perfect time for me to leave the club in a really strong position.”

Wright joined the club in November 2011 as assistant to Steve Lomas, taking over in the summer of 2013.

He led the Perth side to their first-ever Scottish Cup success in 2014 and guided the club to several top-six places.

St Johnstone reached the Europa League qualifying rounds on four occasions without progressing to the group stages.

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