Europa League - Visa issues affect St Johnstone fans for trip

Gary McDonald admits St Johnstone will have to go it alone as visa issues and travel costs mean Perth supporters have been forced to miss the club's Europa League trip to Belarus.

PA Sport Report
Europa League - Visa issues affect St Johnstone fans for trip

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Gary McDonald has returned to Scotland to join St Johnstone

Saints are preparing for a long-haul jaunt to the city of Grodno near to the Polish border, which will host their third qualifying round first leg clash with FC Minsk.

The new venue - which is being used while Minsk's Dinamo Stadium is renovated - is 140 miles closer to Scotland but the five-day clearing period required to obtain travel documents and sky-high airline fares have put off many Saints supporters from joining their team in eastern Europe.

Around 500 of them were in Trondheim as Tommy Wright's men stunned Norwegian league leaders Rosenborg in the first leg of the second qualifying round with a 1-0 win and almost 8,000 witnessed the return leg, where a 1-1 draw was enough to seal their progress.

Midfielder McDonald admits the team have had to accept they will have limited support on Thursday night - but says the same can be said for their rivals.

He told Press Association Sport: "They have moved the stadium where the game is being played so we're not expecting a big crowd over there and that will play into our hands. It did in the first leg of the Rosenborg game.

"It wasn't that big a crowd over there so it wasn't that intimidating. On the other hand, our fans were great - they were more vocal than theirs.

"In many ways that felt like a home game but I don't know with the visa situation if our fans will be able to get over this time. It's a shame because we want to give them the reward of a little trip as well."

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