St Johnstone midfielder Chris Millar believes the midweek hammering by Celtic should be put into the context of an encouraging start to the season for the Perth club.
A 5-0 defeat in the Scottish Communities League Cup quarter-final at Parkhead on Tuesday night was St Johnstone's first loss in nine games. Indeed, their fifth consecutive Clydesdale Bank Premier League win of the campaign against Kilmarnock earlier in the month equalled a club record stretching back to 1971.
The Perth side can leapfrog Neil Lennon's men to lead the SPL table for 24 hours at least with a win over Motherwell at McDiarmid Park on Saturday, if results in the games involving Aberdeen and Hibernian go their way.
Millar, 29, believes the Celtic result should not negate the good start to their season.
"If a win on Saturday can take us top of the league then that is brilliant," he said. "That just shows you how well we have done so far and we have to remember that. It was a nice wee run we were on, eight games and then we lost one to the best team in the country so we have to try to look for positives.
"We are going into the Motherwell game on the back of a bad result but in the overall picture we have been doing quite well. There are three teams in joint second place but even below that there is not a lot of points between the teams.
"It is a tight league, a few teams have been on decent runs so there is not a lot between the teams aside from Celtic. "First and foremost you have to keep your league form good. But for a club like us, we are not going to win the league, the cup is something you can win. The draw wasn't kind to us but we have to put it behind us and move on."
Millar expects a battle against the Steelmen, despite the visitors travelling to Perth on the back of four defeats.
The former Morton player said: "Their form hasn't been too good but we know that it is going to be a tough game. They finished third in the league last year and they have a very good squad."
"Motherwell are a team who attack and always go with two or three up front so it is always an open game. And I think there have always been a lot of goals scored so it should be an exciting game for the fans."
- Sports & Recreation
- Clydesdale Bank Premier League
- Chris Millar
- St Johnstone