Lomas staying upbeat

PA Sport
Steve Lomas
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Steve Lomas

St Johnstone manager Steve Lomas is in no danger of foregoing his positive approach despite his honeymoon period coming to an abrupt end with three consecutive defeats.

Lomas could hardly have enjoyed a better start to his first major managerial role, taking seven points from games against Rangers, Hibernian and Hearts. A run of three home games gave St Johnstone the chance to push Motherwell for third in the Clydesdale Bank Premier League but they suffered defeats to Stuart McCall's team as well as Aberdeen - in a game played in gale-force winds and torrential rain - and Celtic.

Lomas remains naturally upbeat though and he has every right to be optimistic going into the clash with SPL bottom side Dunfermline after captain Jody Morris and top goalscorer Francisco Sandaza returned to training following injury. "Nothing has changed," said the Saints manager.

Lomas added: "We got beat by the second-placed team and the third-placed team and to be honest the Aberdeen game was a bit of a lottery.

"I didn't think it should have gone ahead but it did and the conditions had a major effect on the game. I'm still positive, we have a great bunch of boys. We are not going in with any apprehension - we are looking forward to the challenge."

Another cause for optimism is St Johnstone's away record - they have only lost once on the road this season, against Hibernian, and only conceded two goals in the other eight away games.

"It's a wonderful game to have after three defeats, a different sort of game," Lomas said. "They are fighting for their lives and we are looking to get back on track so it's all set up for a great game."

Lomas saw Jim McIntyre's side lose 2-1 at Celtic Park last month and he knows they will be positive against his team.

"Early on they had a go," Lomas said. "Individual errors cost them, which no manager can account for. But they did well and Celtic were a bit fortunate to be 2-0 up.

"Jim encourages his team to play. He was a grafter as a player and he'll get the same from his players."

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