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No Complaints From Lomas
Published : 22 Apr 2012 09:56:15
You can't expect to get a result if you shoot yourself in the foot.
St Johnstone manager Steve Lomas has no plans to challenge the red card handed out to Francisco Sandaza in yesterday's game against Dundee United. United moved about the Perth Saints to fourth place thanks to the 2-0 at McDairmid Park. Scott Robertson scored just after the half hour mark and John Rankin doubled the advantage in extra time to take United to within three points of third-placed Motherwell. This position could mean that United may be involved in Champions League football next season. Saints make a bright starts and hit the post in the second minute through Cillian Sheridan. However, their plans to claw back the deficit were severely hampered after 57 minutes when Sandaza was shown a straight red card after kicking out at Sean Dillon. The Spaniard can expect a minimum two-game ban which will hinder the Perth side's challange for European qualification. Lomas said: "Fran has kicked out, for whatever reason. He's let his team-mates down today. I'm a big fan of Fran and will back him to the hilt, but you just can't kick out on a football pitch and he left us a mountain to climb. We as a club just can't afford to play against a full strength Dundee United with 10 men. I thought the lads that were left out there battled manfully and they got the second when we were just throwing everything forward. It's disappointing, we're all gutted, but Dundee United are only two points ahead and it's going to change week by week. It puts pressure on now to go and try to get wins away from home, which isn't easy, especially at Motherwell, Celtic and Hearts. We're under no illusions, but one thing I do know is our boys won't throw the towel in." Saints were second best before ex-United striker Sandaza was sent off by referee Euan Norris. The Spaniard had been booked moments earlier for dissent before seeing red - there was no second yellow. Dillon, who was a team-mate of Sandaza at Tannadice before the striker left for Saints in the summer of 2010, said: "He volleyed me, but I have a certain amount of sympathy for him. I wasn't expecting the ref to pull out a red card because I didn't see him do anything to me, although I felt a small bit. It's a little bit silly from his point of view." Third place should secure a place in the Champions League qualifying stages next term - as Rangers are excluded as a result of their problems with administration - and United are in contention after the win in the first post-split fixture. However, there is a long way to go yet and some surprise results could make life interesting before United travel to Motherwell on the final day of the season. United boss Peter Houston said: "It's a huge three points for us today but it doesn't mean we're going to end up in the Champions League. St Johnstone in the first five minutes could've scored two goals and for the rest of the 35, 40 minutes we started creating chances. I don't think the sending off helped us in many ways. We were getting a wee bit jittery near the end, so the goal was nice but I was hoping he (Rankin) would've taken it into the corner." United's Gavin Gunning suffered a suspected dislocated shoulder and is likely to miss at least next week's meeting with Hearts, meaning a defensive reshuffle. Saints had problems of their own on Saturday and Derek Riordan made his debut after Chris Millar failed a fitness test and Lee Croft (hamstring), Jody Morris and Liam Craig (both suspended) were also absent. Lomas added: "It would be a hard enough game to play Dundee United at full strength. To lose an entire first-choice midfield is probably going to hurt anybody and it hurt us today."