Lomas expecting tough Motherwell test

PA Sport
Steve Lomas is backing St Johnstone to bounce back from opening-day defeat by Hearts

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Steve Lomas is backing St Johnstone to bounce back from opening-day defeat by Hearts

Steve Lomas does not believe Motherwell will be suffering from a European hangover when he takes his St Johnstone team to Fir Park on Saturday.

The Steelmen's first foray into the Champions League ended at the first hurdle when they were comprehensively beaten 3-0 by Panathinaikos in Athens on Wednesday night to go out of the third qualifying round tie 5-0 on aggregate.

Lomas minimised the disruption to Motherwell's preparations and insists their defeat should be taken in context of the opposition.

He told Press Association Sport: "Well, I wouldn't say it was an exhausting journey for them, to Athens and back, but Panathinaikos was a very tough game for Motherwell.

"Their budget will have been about about 20 times more than Motherwell's budget so there has to be a level of realism about the size of task they faced.

"You can produce a shock in a one-off game but it is much more difficult over two legs. But we know that whatever team Stuart McCall puts out tomorrow will be a good team.

"He has done a magnificent job at Motherwell, they have a good team spirit and a good blend of players and don't forget they qualified for the Champions League last season so we know we will have to be at our best."

St Johnstone lost 2-0 at Hearts in their opening Clydesdale Bank Premier League game last week but Lomas saw enough from his team to give him confidence for the trip to Lanarkshire.

Gregory Tade was sent off for clashing with Andy Webster just before the break but for large spells of the second half it was the 10 men who dominated.

The Northern Irishman said: "If we can reproduce the second-half form we showed against Hearts last week then we have got a chance. I was very pleased with the way my boys went about the second half, how we passed the ball and how we created chances."

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