Two European Targets
Updated Thursday, 3rd May 2012
Celtic welcome St Johnstone tonight with both sides looking forward to European football
The defender said: "Each year you want to do better. Next year we would look to win the league again but a run in the Champions League would be great. It is important to do everything we can to prepare for the qualifiers and get in among that again. That would be massive for everyone here. I'm sure the manager will look to bring one or two in. But there is plenty of quality in the changing room at the moment although time will tell whether it will be enough to get us through. I think we proved this season in a tough group that we can compete in Europe. Apart from one or two decisions that didn't go our way, we could maybe have qualified for the last 32 of the Europa League. So, of course, if we believe in ourselves and if we prepare right there is no reason why we can't but we need to see who we get drawn against and take it from there.''
Meanwhile, St Johnstone manager Steve Lomas wants his players to forget the implications of Hearts' defeat on Tuesday night and focus on atoning for their Fir Park thrashing when they travel to Glasgow. An under-strength Saints suffered their second defeat since the SPL split when they went down 5-1 to Motherwell on Saturday. The weekend results left Lomas' side just a point ahead of Hearts in the race for fifth place and a guaranteed Europa League berth, but Motherwell helped them in the race for European games by winning at Tynecastle. A win against Hearts at Tynecastle on Sunday would be enough to clinch a European spot but Lomas is more concerned with making sure his players improve on what he described as their worst performance of his reign.
Lomas said: "We can only look after ourselves. We let ourselves down as a group on Saturday. We want to bounce back and put in a performance against Celtic no matter what team they put out. That's what we will be looking for first and foremost - a reaction from Saturday. When you go to the Old Firm you have got to put in a performance. You certainly don't go there and play badly and get a result. Our boys are an honest set. They will be hurting from Saturday and wanting to make amends.''