Chris Millar defends himself after missing St Johnstone's kick-off against Kilmarnock

St Johnstone's Ricky Foster and Michael O'Halloran
Ricky Foster and Michael O'Halloran did not play in the 2-1 defeat to Kilmarnock

St Johnstone midfielder Chris Millar has defended himself and three other players who missed kick-off against Kilmarnock after a road accident.

Manager Tommy Wright expressed his unhappiness at having to change his line-up before kick-off on Saturday.

And only Michael O'Halloran of the delayed players made the bench for Saints' 2-1 Premiership defeat.

"Been leaving at that time for 10 years," Millar said on Twitter. "Never missed a kick-off once."

O'Halloran and Richard Foster were in Wright's original starting line-up, but were replaced with Graham Cummins and Liam Gordon after the carload of players was held up by an accident on the A9 in Stirlingshire, the same route navigated by the visitors earlier on.

Millar, Foster and Denny Johnstone were not included in Wright's reshuffled squad, while on-loan Rangers forward O'Halloran did not get on.

"Hope that the families and everyone involved in the crash on A9 today is OK," said Millar. "Terrible accident literally 10 cars in front of our car pool."

Police said two drivers were taken to hospital after the accident, which happened at 12.25 GMT, with the players less than half an hour from Perth.

A large stretch of the road was closed for more than four hours.

Millar was responding to former Rangers midfielder Gavin Rae, who had said: "Players should have left earlier. Killie made it."

However, Millar pointed out that the visiting squad had allowed themselves to arrive early for lunch ahead of the 15:00 kick-off.

"Killie went for pre-match," he said.

Wright did not speak to the media after the match, but Killie manager Steve Clarke expressed concern for the crash victims.

"I was obviously aware there was something going on in the background but it's not our issue," Clarke said. "We were here in plenty of time for the game.

"I'm sorry for Tommy that it worked out like that, but these things happen. I just hope everybody involved in the accident is OK."

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