St Johnstone Hoping European Experience Can Help League Prospects

19 July 2012 07:20
St Johnstone get their season off to a European start tonight in Turkey.

Murray Davidson is looking forward to captaining St Johnstone in their Europa League clash against Eskisehirspor in Turkey tonight. Davidson was named vice-captain by manager Steve Lomas this summer. The former Livingston man is looking forward to leading his side out for the second qualifying round first-leg game, as captain Dave Mackay did not making the trip due to a calf injury. Playing in Europe is nothing new to Davidson as he was part of the Livingston squad that reached the first round of the UEFA Cup back in 2002. However, he sees this as a new experience and will be happy to wear the captain's armband. 

Dennis Law wishes St Johnstone fans all the best as they head to Turkey (c) GER HARLEY | SPORTPIX

He said: "It was a bit of a surprise when I was told I was vice captain and obviously with Dave Mackay club captain not making it, it is a big honour. It's a new experience, I was at Livingston when they were in Europe but I was just a young lad so I wasn't really involved so this is my first taste and I'm looking forward to heading out there and getting in amongst it. We've got a very experienced squad and everyone knows what to do, it won't take much from me." If the side do well in the Europa Cup Davidson hopes it will boost their SPL prospects. Davidson feels anything can happen if the the Saints deliver a win over the two legs with Eskisehirspor. He said: "I'm not one for setting targets personally but with Rangers going out the league it opens everything up and if you get off to a good start you never know what can happen. We've got two European games and then you're into the league and it is all go at the moment." Manager Lomas believes his side are the outsiders going into the game but feels that could be to their advantage. He said: "It is not uncommon to the lads they are going away as the underdogs. If you are to get results away at Celtic and Rangers, and come to these foreign shores, you've got to be defensively disciplined, you've got to take your chances and you've got to have a little bit of luck. It's the first time in (Europe for) 15 years so, like I say, we are going to enjoy it. The team are going to go there and give it their best shot. We know it's going to be difficult. We know the calibre of team we are playing against. Their budget is 15 times more than ours. The heat will play a factor. But our boys are quietly confident."