October 6, 2012
Lomas always backed Parkin
Team Stat Comparison
|St Johnstone||St Mirren|
|Goals for *||1.3||1.2|
|Goals against *||0.9||1.5|
|Last 5 home||W-W-D-D-W||D-L-D-D-W|
|Last 5 away||L-W-D-L-D||W-L-D-D-D|
|* Goals per match - home matches for home club and away matches for away club|
|Stats: St Johnstone | St Mirren|
St Johnstone manager Steve Lomas always knew Sam Parkin would revive his career despite releasing him in January.
Parkin returns to McDiarmid Park on Saturday with St Mirren looking to end his former club's three-match winning streak in the Clydesdale Bank Premier League.
The striker, who scored in a 5-4 win over Ross County last weekend, made two appearances under Lomas after recovering from a broken ankle but could not secure a regular place and was released to allow him to kick-start his career at Queen of the South.
After scoring six goals for Queens, the 31-year-old won a move back to the SPL and Lomas is wary of the powerful striker.
"Sam was very unfortunate at our place,'' Lomas said. "He was probably, at the time, fifth in line and he was just coming back.
"But I always knew from England that Sam would do a decent job for somebody.
"He is a very good player. Obviously you don't go to Chelsea as a kid if you're not a decent player.
"I always knew he would do well but just at the time, I just couldn't give Sam any game time.
"I felt it was right to give him an opportunity, after missing so much football, to get back playing.''
Lomas won the manager of the month award after an unbeaten September but he appreciates the size of the task against St Mirren, who this week lost Paul McGowan to a shoulder injury.
"We have 13 fit senior players this week and we'll have to perform well to get something from St Mirren because they will be coming here thinking this is a winnable game and if they win that going into the international break, it will set them up nicely,'' Lomas said.
"It's definitely within their capabilities to challenge for the top six if you look at Stevie Thompson, McGowan, Lewis Guy, who I thought I had last year myself. He was up and we had a chance of getting him. He's a decent player who has played Championship football.
"You add Sam Parkin to the mix, (David) van Zanten is a decent full-back, and (Dougie) Imrie. So they have a lot of attacking options and if you want to do well, you have got to score goals in the SPL.
"They like to knock it about, we like to attack, both teams want to attack and get goals. Hopefully it's not a 5-4 and if it is, we come out on top.
"I would take a 1-0 and any sort of result.''
St Mirren manager Danny Lennon is not surprised that St Johnstone have recovered from their nightmare start to the season.
Ahead of the Paisley side's visit to McDiarmid Park, Lennon claimed it was only a matter of time before Lomas got it right.
"St Johnstone had a terrific month with Steve rightly getting the manager of the month award,'' he said.
"They had a horrible start to the season, I feel, because of the such a turnaround and change of personnel, that takes a bit of time and that showed.
"They didn't win in August and then went through September unbeaten, showing the form that got them into the top six last season.
"So it is not surprise to me that, with the quality of players they have, that they have climbed the table.
"As for us, we have won three out of the last four games.
"So we are hitting form ourselves and will try to continue that.
"But I feel we have not hit fifth gear for long periods this season so hopefully we can do that on Saturday.''
Lennon will have to plan for the demise of St Johnstone without the services of Paul McGowan.
The Buddies playmaker faces three months on the sidelines with a shoulder injury and will undergo surgery on Monday.
The former Cowdenbeath manager said: "That is now an opportunity for someone else and we have great candidates to step into that role.
"We asked the likes of Dougie Imrie, Gary Teale, Graham Carey, John Robertson and Kenny McLean to step up to the mark and give us what Paul gives us on a weekly basis.
"But we are not a one-man band.
"We just have to change the lyrics a little bit with someone else going in and play a different bit of music, and we look forward to that.''