Scottish Football - Lomas hails Saints achievement

Boss Steve Lomas admits taking St Johnstone into Europe for a second year in a row felt like winning the league.

PA Sport

Saints' 2-0 win over Motherwell, combined with Inverness' defeat at Ross County, secured third spot in the Clydesdale Bank Premier League and the final Europa League berth.

The final whistle saw fans spill onto the McDiarmid Park pitch to celebrate with the players and Lomas was keen to pay tribute to his side.

He said: "To have two European campaigns on the spin for a club like St Johnstone is probably like winning the league for us.

"For a club like this in Perth, it's probably as good as it gets so we should enjoy it."

With both Highland clubs exceeding expectations this season, Lomas felt Saints had been overlooked at times.

He added: "To be fair, it's been slightly underplayed and I can understand why because with Ross County coming up, it was a magnificent achievement by Derek Adams and all his people.

"Inverness were everybody's favourites to go down, with Ross County, and they've had a great season and scored a lot of goals.

"I've got to tip my hat to Terry Butcher. They had goalscorers in abundance. Our team was all about the team. It wasn't just about individuals and it showed again."

Goals from Liam Craig - who is set to join Hibernian next season - and Nigel Hasselbaink sealed the win against a Motherwell side who were already confirmed as runners-up in the SPL.

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