Lomas looks for home comforts

PA Sport
Steve Lomas
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Steve Lomas

St Johnstone manager Steve Lomas has called on his players to reward their home support as the Perth side look to reproduce their away form against Kilmarnock.

Saints have only lost one game away from home, against Hibernian, and only conceded two goals in the other nine fixtures on the road. But they have conceded 15 at home in the SPL and lost their most recent three matches at McDiarmid park, against Motherwell, Aberdeen and Celtic.

St Johnstone got back to winning ways with a 3-0 win over Dunfermline at East End Park on Christmas Eve, and Lomas wants his players to take control against Kenny Shiels' Kilmarnock side on Wednesday. "We have got to produce something," Lomas said.

"Our away supporters were fantastic at Dunfermline, apparently we had about 700 there. They gave us great support and the players responded to it. It's going to be a tough game. Kenny has got them going well. We have got to be up for it and take the game to them."

St Johnstone are not alone in finding points hard to come by at home - half of the SPL clubs have not beaten their away points tally at home so far this season. But Lomas does not believe there has been a big difference in performances during his seven matches in charge.

"It might be the case that it's a challenge in terms of the onus being on you to attack when you are the home team," the former West Ham midfielder said.

"But the three recent games at home we made individual errors and gave cheap goals away. I didn't think we played any better against Dunfermline but we got the first goal, and goals change games."

Lomas comes up against fellow Northern Irishman Shiels for the first time and he has been impressed with the former Coleraine manager's approach to attacking, passing football in Scotland.

"I think it's difficult back home, you're not able to work with the lads as they are part-time," Lomas said.

"He is doing a good job here. Good luck to him, it's good that he wants to play that way. Hopefully it's not free-flowing football tomorrow (Wednesday) night."

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