ST Johnstone midfielder Chris Millar’s thoughts were with those directly involved in the road accident which prevented him and three team-mates making kick-off against Kilmarnock.

Millar defended himself for being late after manager Tommy Wright expressed his unhappiness in a radio interview before his side’s 2-1 defeat at McDiarmid Park, claiming it was his players’ responsibility to arrive on time.

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

Writing on Twitter, Millar said: “Hope that the families and everyone involved in the crash on A9 today is OK. 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 12.25pm, with the players less than half an hour from Perth. A large stretch of the road was closed for more than four hours.

Millar defended their approach in a response to former Rangers midfielder Gavin Rae, who had said: “Players should have left earlier. Killie made it.”

“Been leaving at that time for 10 years,” Millar said. “Never missed a kick-off once. Killie went for pre-match.”

Only O’Halloran was named on the bench before arriving after kick-off, with Millar, Foster and Denny Johnstone not included in Wright’s reshuffled squad. The on-loan Rangers player did not get on.

Killie opened the scoring in the 10th minute when Stuart Findlay headed his first goal in first-team football before Steven McLean headed a leveller two minutes before the break.

But the visitors had the edge in the second half and Eamonn Brophy secured the win after good work from Stephen O’Donnell in the 66th minute.

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

“I just hope everybody involved in the accident is OK.” Clarke said