By Richard Parks

Tommy Wright has hit back at Jamie Murphy’s criticism of St Johnstone’s rough play and claimed Rangers’ two star men were guilty of roughing up his team.

The Ibrox winger said he was left “frustrated and angry” by the home team’s tackling after limping out of Rangers’ 4-1 midweek win at McDiarmid Park.

But the St Johnstone boss countered by highlighting an Alfredo Morelos elbow that floored Saints defender Steven Anderson and a Murphy tackle that forced Wright to replace Murray Davidson.

He said, as quoted by the Scottish Sun: “I was surprised to read quotes about Rangers being angry with our tackling.

“If anything, we should have complaints, especially for the Morelos challenge on Anderson.

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Rangers gave away more fouls than we did but there wasn’t one bad foul in the game. If anything I’d have wanted my players to have made more tackles.

“Murray took a knock and had to come off. He got stood on by Jamie Murphy after a challenge. I don’t think it was anything other than accidental, but his foot landed on Murray’s knee and he took a sore one. Thankfully he’ll be fine.

“It’s unfortunate when players pick up knocks, but these things happen. We haven’t been moaning about it.”

Football Insider verdict:

Wright is correct in highlighting some of the tough physical play of the Rangers players as he issued a strong defence of his team in the wake of their midweek demolition. Murphy’s frustration was understandable, but who can blame St Johnstone with being physical and aggressive given the disparity in quality between the two sides. Murphy and Morelos have emerged as Rangers’ two star men – just above Josh Windass, James Tavernier and Sean Goss – on the back of a golden run of results which has restored some pride to the club and even prompted hopes of a late title challenge. 

In other Rangers news, the club are firmly in the running to sign a goal machine from north-west English high flyers.

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