Lomas dreaming of European adventure

PA Sport
Steve Lomas
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Steve Lomas

Manager Steve Lomas insists St Johnstone deserve a European spot for their efforts this season.

The Northern Irishman took over as boss in November following the departure of Derek McInnes to npower Championship side Bristol City and continued the progression of the McDiarmid Park club.

Saints have stumbled in the last month, partly due to suspension and injury, but are one point ahead of sixth-placed Hearts and will be guaranteed a Europa League spot with a win against the Jambos at Tynecastle. Asked if his side deserved that place, Lomas said: "I think so. If you look at our budget, if we are not the worst (in the SPL) then we are very close to it."

He added: "So to be in the top six is a massive achievement by the boys, there are no two ways about it. "

Lomas travels to Gorgie encouraged by his side's display in the 1-0 defeat by Celtic at Parkhead on Thursday night, despite it being Saints' third defeat in a row.

Although there was never any real prospect of chalking up their second win in the east end of Glasgow this season, the Perth men were vastly improved from their 5-1 thrashing by Motherwell last week.

The former Manchester City, West Ham and QPR midfielder added: "The encouraging thing is that if we get that level of performance that we got against Celtic, we will be okay.

"Obviously we would have wanted to make a better fist of the games after the split but we have been missing key players. We have had five or six of our regular starters out. We had a couple back against Celtic although Chris Millar pulled up again.

"I thought Callum Davidson was magnificent against Celtic, he hadn't played in six weeks but I thought he was brilliant, as they all were, I thought it was a good performance."

Midfielder Millar had to come off just before the break at Celtic Park with a recurrence of a groin injury and he will be assessed today, as will defender Frazer Wright who missed out with a knock.

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