By Richard Parks
St Johnstone manager Tommy Wright has slammed Pedro Caixinha as “paranoid” and insisted he is “spreading fake news”.
The Rangers manager claimed at his media briefing on Wednesday that his team was leaked to St Johnstone ahead of the two side’ last meeting in May.
Caixinha insisted he had plugged the dressing room leak and there was no chance of Wright getting advance notice of his starting XI when the two clubs go head to head in Perth on Friday night.
But Wright reacted strongly on Thursday morning as he hit back at the suggestion St Johnstone had knowledge of Rangers’ line-up.
“What he’s talking about in terms of us getting his team last season is just someone that’s paranoid,” said Wright, as quoted by the personal Twitter account of Scottish football journalist Alison Conroy.
“I didn’t get his team last season, we didn’t change our training regime, we didn’t sit about waiting for them to finish training to get the team. It just didn’t happen, so I now know what fake news means.”
Tommy Wright hits back at Pedro Caixinha’s suggestions St Johnstone had Rangers team last season… pic.twitter.com/lvuOGXjkDj
— Alison Conroy (@AlisonGConroy) October 12, 2017
The Gers travelled to Perth on the final day of last season – with Caixinha making a number of changes to his starting XI – and defeated the Saints 2-1.
Caixinha has previously spoken out against leaks coming from his dressing room and claimed St. Johnstone boss Tommy Wright’s squad trained ahead of that match knowing exactly how the Gers would line-up.
Youngster Jamie Barjonas was handed his first start in that fixture as Caixinha played a host of young players including Myles Beerman, Kyle Bradley, Aidan Wilson and David Bates.
The Rangers manager claimed that he doesn’t expect the Perth side to train after his side do tomorrow – presumably suggesting he had dealt with the source of the leak.
“First of all I expect them not to train after we train tomorrow,” Caixinha said as quoted by STV’s website.
“Why am I telling you that?
“Because I know last season, in the last match, we train at ten and they train at 12, knowing already our first XI.”
The two sides meet again on Friday night with both knowing a win would give them a three-point cushion over the other.
Both will also be aiming to close the six-point gap to leaders Celtic and Aberdeen ahead of their games on Saturday.
Caixinha recently banished veteran striker Kenny Miller to the club’s Under-2 squad after reportedly leaking details of a team meeting in the wake of the 2-0 Old Firm defeat last month.
In other Rangers news, Caixinha was blown away by four Rangers youngsters in the closed-doors friendly with Morton.