Lomas urges Saints to respond

  • Last Updated: November 23 2012, 16:40 GMT

St Johnstone boss Steve Lomas insists performances and points are more important than placings as he prepares for Saturday's Clydesdale Bank Premier League clash with Kilmarnock at Rugby Park.

Lomas: Wants a return to winning ways

Saints, like Killie, could move into third place with a victory but the Perth side have not won a game since they beat Kenny Shiels' side at McDiarmid Park in October.

Since then Lomas' men have drawn three and lost two, including being knocked out of the Scottish Communities League Cup by Celtic and a home SPL draw against Ross County last week.

Former Manchester City and West Ham midfielder Lomas is looking to get back to winning ways, regardless of where it might leave them in the table in the short-term.

He said: "We had the chance to go third against Ross County but it is not about the table at this stage.

"It is about keeping performances up, getting as many points on the board as we can and when the league splits we will see where we are then.

"We played well against Kilmarnock last time but we have played as well in other games.

"And as well as we played, Killie could have maybe nicked a point at the end.

"So it is going to be a tough game.

"I watched Kilmarnock against Dundee United last Friday and they were superb in the first half so we will have to put on a performance.

"You can't put in a duff performance and take the points.

"They have good attacking players and a good double act in Cillian Sheridan and Paul Heffernan.

"Cillian was excellent when he was here and I knew he would be a success at Killie and Paul is a superb player and finisher.

"They have the makings of a good partnership.

"They will test you and we need to be on our mettle."

Lomas revealed the extension of Steven MacLean's contract until the end of next season was with a view to avoiding wholesale changes to his squad in the summer again.

He said: "MacLean came here short term (in September) and wanted to prove himself.

"I knew what he was all about and I have been delighted with him.

"I was also mindful that I didn't want to have too many players out of contract in the summer, as I did this year.

"He has never really relied on his pace but he is experienced, a very good finisher and is good for the younger players."

Lomas is also glad to have Patrick Cregg back in contention after the midfielder was sidelined for a month with a hamstring injury.

He said: "It is very important to have a fully-fit squad because we have five games in 11 days around the Christmas period."

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