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St Johnstone V Hibernian at McDiarmid Park : Match Preview

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27 Nov 2012 18:31:13

St Johnstone V Hibernian at McDiarmid Park : Match Preview

St Johnstone V Hibernian - view commentary, squad, and statistics of the game live.


Lomas warns Hibs are no one-man band

St Johnstone boss Steve Lomas insists there is more to Hibernian than Leigh Griffiths as he prepares to welcome Pat Fenlon's side to McDiarmid Park in the Clydesdale Bank Premier League.

Griffiths' sizzling form this season at Easter Road has brought him 13 goals and earned the 22-year-old striker his first Scotland cap when he came on against Luxembourg earlier in the month.

However, the Saints boss, whose side are fresh from a 2-1 win over Kilmarnock at the weekend, is wary of Hibs' new found robustness as much as the on-loan Wolves player.

"Leigh Griffiths is on fire at the moment," said Lomas.

"We had it last season with Fran Sandaza who won a lot of games from nothing for us with his goals.

"So Leigh Griffiths is very much their main man but I wouldn't want to take away from any of their other players.

"Pat Fenlon has got good, solid, reliable SPL players like Alan Maybury, players who know the league and who won't be bullied, which tended to happen in the past.

"Pat has put his stamp on that team and by all all accounts they were unlucky to lose against Aberdeen at the weekend, they dominated the game but that seems to be the way in the SPL this season. Everyone can beat everyone else.

"It's all about taking chances and there is a massive incentive for us.

"We are at home, we want back-to-back wins and we can push ahead of them in the table.

"But Hibs will be wanting to bounce back from their defeat.

"So it has the makings of a good game and we are looking forward to it."

Lomas will assess Nigel Hasselbaink ahead of the clash. The Saints striker hobbled off with a knock in the 2-1 win over Kilmarnock at Rugby Park on Saturday.

Kevin Moon, Jamie Adams and Peter Pawlett remain on the sidelines.

Meanwhile, Fenlon returns to the scene of his first appointment as Hibernian manager eager for his side to show how far they have progressed in his first year in charge.

The Irishman this week celebrated his first anniversary at Easter Road and returns to McDiarmid Park, where, a day after being installed as Colin Calderwood's successor last November, he watched Hibs fall to a 3-1 loss.

Hibs will seek to respond from successive Clydesdale Bank Premier League losses to Dundee and Aberdeen by claiming victory in Perth.

"It was a bit surreal, because I was in the stand and I didn't have charge of the team," said Fenlon, reflecting on his first visit to McDiarmid Park, when then assistant Billy Brown was in charge of the team.

"It's been eventful, that's for certain. It's been enjoyable.

"I think we've improved the team since we've come in. That's what we came in to do and hopefully to continue doing that.

"After the weekend we're disappointed, but we're very encouraged by the performance.

"If we get to the level of performance that we had on Saturday hopefully that's enough."

Lewis Stevenson is again set to operate at left-back, with captain James McPake (back) and right-back Tim Clancy (groin) out.

McPake is a major doubt for Sunday's derby, too.

Fenlon said: "He's sore at the moment. He'll definitely miss out on Wednesday and I'd imagine he'll miss out on Sunday as well."


PA

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