St Johnstone V Hearts at McDiarmid Park : Match Preview

14 December 2012 06:31
St Johnstone V Hearts - view commentary, squad, and statistics of the game live.

Lomas - Hearts' players won't be distracted by financial problems

St Johnstone boss Steve Lomas will pay no attention to Hearts' financial problems as he prepares his side for the visit of the Tynecastle men in the Clydesdale Bank Premier League.

The Gorgie club are battling against a cash crisis and recently averted a winding-up order after paying Her Majesty's Revenue and Customs a #450,000 bill, while also settling another issue with the tax authority by agreeing to pay #1.5million over three years.

The Hearts players deferred their wages last month - which are now up to date - but although more than #800,000 has been raised by a share issue scheme launched in October, it is short of the #1.79million target and director Sergejus Fedotovas has warned of tough times ahead.

Lomas believes all that turmoil will be "irrelevant" to the Jambos' players when the game begins.

"I don't think it will have an effect on them, they have been through it all before," said the Northern Irishman.

"Hearts players have played when they have had no wages, they have always been professional.

"The game is played on the pitch. Once you step over that white line everything is forgotten about. Everything else is irrelevant.

"You are there to do a job and they will want to prove a point, they will be wanting to win a game of football.

"So it is going to be tough. They are a side jam-packed with good players like Ryan McGowan and John Sutton so we will have to work hard and play well to get something from the game."

Lomas does not have his own problems to seek this week.

The Perth boss will ask David McCracken if he is ready to return early from his fractured cheekbone as Saints face an injury crisis in defence.

Defenders Steven Anderson, Frazer Wright and skipper Dave Mackay are suspended while midfielder Chris Millar is also banned after being red carded in the 1-1 draw against St Mirren last week.

John McGlynn has warned his Hearts side against complacency.

"They do have defensive problems, because they have four players suspended for the game," McGlynn said.

"From the midfield forward they've still got a lot of attacking options, so we have to make sure that we don't think just because St Johnstone have got a few suspensions it's just a matter of turning up.

"That can be costly. We've got to make sure we have the right attitude.

"We won against Aberdeen last week and we look to go up to Perth and play as well if not better and be as committed, if not more, and win that football match."

Against Aberdeen, McGlynn changed tact and started with John Sutton and Gordon Smith up front in a 4-4-2 formation.

Hearts could continue with that line-up this weekend, although at least one change in personnel will be necessary with midfielder Mehdi Taouil out with a groin problem.

McGlynn added: "It was good to get back with a victory against a decent Aberdeen side, as was shown in midweek with their good cup victory against Motherwell.

"We want to try to build on the victory we've just had. We're looking for consistency."

Source: PA

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