sport

Lomas relishing six cup finals

St Johnstone boss Steve Lomas reckons his side are facing "six cup finals" as they bid to secure a top-six spot in the Scottish Premier League.

As the split looms closer, there are only 11 points separating second from 11th in the table.

Saints moved into fifth place with a 1-1 home draw against Celtic on Tuesday night but they are still only eight points ahead of second-bottom St Mirren, who visit McDiarmid Park on Saturday afternoon.

Lomas said: "It is a great endorsement for the league and kind of bizarre that they are looking at massive reconstruction when quite possibly we have had one of the most interesting leagues in a long time, albeit people can say that Celtic have run away with it.

"It is going to be a tough game because St Mirren have been slightly under the radar, they have been in great form since probably the end of November and they have a Scottish Communities League Cup final coming up to boot.

"Okay, they are second-bottom but they will be thinking that they can come and get a win and get closer to us

"That is the good thing about this season, it is all to play for over the next six or seven weeks.

"The next six games are our six cup finals. We have as good a chance as anybody of making the top six but you have to win games because look at the other teams; Dundee United are in good form as are, Kilmarnock and St Mirren, Aberdeen picked up a win and Motherwell are getting wins so you could make a case for everybody.

"But I think that's good for the game."

The former West Ham and Manchester City midfielder admits he is still irked by assistant referee Gordon Middleton's decision to flag for offside when defender Frazer Wright headed in against Celtic, after striker Steven MacLean also had a similar effort ruled out.

Lomas said: "It does [still rankle]. Linesmen are human and it is a tough job but he was onside when the ball was hit and he was onside when he headed it.

"I can't see what he could have given it for, other than an infringement in the box.

"I can understand when it is so tight and with the first one Steven is half a body offside.

"But it is harder to take when it was so, so clear cut that Fraser's was a good goal but we have to try to accept it."