Lomas: My ban won't affect team

PA Sport
Steve Lomas
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Steve Lomas

St Johnstone manager Steve Lomas is confident his players will perform without his influence on the touchline at Tynecastle after he was banned for making an offensive gesture at Ibrox.

Lomas has accepted a one-match suspension from the Scottish Football Association after being reported by police following his first match in charge, a goalless draw against Clydesdale Bank Premier League leaders Rangers.

Lomas is disappointed with the action - sparked when the police match commander asked the referee to include the issue in his official report. But he turned down the chance to take the issue to an SFA tribunal and will serve the ban on Saturday as his side face Hearts.

And he is confident assistant Tommy Wright and his team will cope without him in the dugout, saying: "I thought it was something and nothing but it's done now so we accept it and we move on and Tommy will be on the line."

"I'm a bit disappointed about it, I didn't think it merited something like that but hey-ho, we move on."

When asked what the SFA misconduct accusation specified, Lomas said: "It was an offensive gesture, which was directed at nobody. But I don't want to dwell on it. Tommy is more than capable on the sideline. The players are fully professional and we go there in good heart."

Lomas will have company in the stand in Hearts manager Paulo Sergio, who is in the midst of a five-match ban following his dismissal and subsequent reaction during a defeat by Kilmarnock.

Saints travel to Tynecastle a point above their hosts in fourth place, and with a game in hand, having kept clean sheets at Rangers, Celtic and Motherwell already this season.

Lomas said: "It's not ideal but once that whistle goes, it's not about the managers, it's about the players. That's the show. I've never seen a manager win a game without his players playing well.

"It's about them and I'm sure both sets of players are looking forward to it. We are close, they want to get ahead of us and we want to kick on and keep our run going. So it's got the makings of a good game."

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