Lomas sees need to strengthen
Steve Lomas thinks he needs three new players in order for St Johnstone to compete in the SPL this season.
Lomas looked on as his side lost 2-1 to Aberdeen on Saturday in their first home match of the new SPL season.
However, the manner of defeat - rather than the score - is what would have been of concern to Lomas.
Aberdeen stroked the ball about with a confidence and competency that their opponents could not match.
The away side created numerous chances and really should have added more to the first-half strike from Isaac Osbourne and 47th-minute goal by Jonny Hayes.
St Johnstone, in contrast, looked toothless and disjointed in attack, and Nigel Hasselbaink's late goal did nothing but add an air of respectability to the score.
Lomas' team selection had already been hamstrung by the suspensions to Gregory Tade and Rowan Vine and the illness that hit new signing Craig Beattie, before Chris Miller and Murray Davidson were forced off with first-half injuries.
"I've said all along that we need two or three more [players]," said Lomas, "and that's no different just because we got beat against Aberdeen.
"Everybody knows we overachieved last season. And the tough thing is, with the Rangers scenario, we've got a huge slice of last season's budget missing.
"I've got sympathy for the chairman because he's got to balance the books, but it's up to him whether we bring in the two or three players that I feel we need."
The mood in the Pittodrie camp could not be any different. After seeing his side struggle to create last season, Craig Brown has now seen his men carve out numerous clear-cut opportunities in their last two games.
New signing Niall McGinn missed out through injury, but 18-year old Ryan Fraser stepped up and put on a show for the travelling support.
The young winger was involved in just about everything Aberdeen did going forward as Dave Mackay, and then Gary Miller, struggled to handle his energy and enthusiasm.
While Lomas lamented his lack of depth, Brown feels he now has a strong squad at his disposal.
"I don't want to get too carried away with one win, but when you look at our bench it shows the quality of players that we've got," he said.
"When you can have Mark Reynolds and Chris Clark on the bench, you know the squad is strong. We've got a good solid squad of players, which is something that we haven't had since I came."
Osbourne, who opened the scoring with a low rifle into the bottom corner, echoed his manager's sentiments with regards to the competition for places that now exists within the team.
Osbourne said: "I thought little Ryan Fraser did very well and created a lot for us, and we could have been three or four up.
"When you've got guys like Jonny [Hayes], Ryan [Fraser] and Niall [McGinn] then you've got other guys like Peter Pawlett and Mitchell [Megginson] not getting a game, it shows we've got a strong squad and I think we'll do well this year."