Lomas hopes to avoid trouble
St Johnstone manager Steve Lomas is hoping for a trouble-free 2013 after escaping his latest disciplinary charge.
A Scottish Football Association judicial panel did not add to the Northern Irishman's eight-game touchline ban on Thursday after deciding a warning would suffice following his dismissal against Hibernian last month. Lomas was found guilty of misconduct by kicking a water bottle carrier in frustration when Nigel Hasselbaink missed a late penalty in his side's 1-0 home defeat on November 28. The former Manchester City and West Ham midfielder was hit with a six-match touchline ban earlier this month after being sent to the stand during his side's 1-1 draw at Celtic Park, which also sparked a further two-match punishment which had been suspended after he labelled Ross County midfielder Richard Brittain a cheat. Lomas, who has already served three matches and is due to return to the technical area when Celtic visit McDiarmid Park on January 26, said:
"I got a fair hearing and the panel recognised the water bottle was about pure frustration and not malice and I think common sense prevailed.
"There was really only one (charge) I believe amounted to anything and that was foul and abusive language at the Celtic game, and I apologised for that.
"I stand by what I said after the Ross County game and kicking a water battle when your team has missed a penalty - it's not the biggest crime is it?
"I do believe you don't want to take the passion out of the game. I'm a passionate guy but I am also an honest guy.
"I realise my card has been marked and I am treading a fine line. "So I will be taking a look at myself and hopefully the rest of the season is incident free."
St Johnstone travel to Aberdeen on Saturday where Lomas anticipates a difficult game against a club he believes boasts the second-strongest squad in the league. Despite that Stephen Hughes, Ryan Fraser, Ryan Jack, Rob Milsom, Chris Clark, Gary Naysmith and Isaac Osbourne remain out, while goalkeeper Jamie Langfield is suspended after failing with his appeal against the red card picked up against Kilmarnock last week.
"It is going to be very difficult," said the Perth boss.
"They have a very good squad. Indeed, if Craig Brown has everyone fit then Aberdeen probably have the best squad in the SPL outside of Celtic.
"By all accounts they were unlucky against Kilmarnock last week and they knocked Motherwell out of the cup before that.
"But no-one has the right to be second in this league, as you have seen, everyone can beat everyone else on their day.
"Craig will be ruing the amount of injuries he has and they seem to be in midfield.
"But we have to go and sort ourselves out and not worry too much about Aberdeen."
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