Jan 29 2013 by Alison Lowson, Perthshire Advertiser
Steve Lomas is hoping his players stay fit and healthy between now and the summer.
Despite departures and casualties, with chairman Steve Brown warning recent losses can’t continue, Lomas may not be given the green light to emulate SPL rivals by drafting in personnel before the transfer window shuts on Thursday.
While striker Stevie May has already been given the go-ahead to develop on loan at Hamilton Accies through to the end of the season, fellow U21 player Liam Caddis has been summoned back from Cowdenbeath to provide first team options.
Lomas is resigned to being without injured duo David Robertson and Jamie Adams for the rest of the campaign, injury jinxed Craig Beattie has departed by mutual consent after managing just a handful of minutes in SPL football since his arrival in the summer and Aberdeen winger Peter Pawlett was recalled to the Granite City and is set to line-up against Saints in Perth tomorrow night. The match has a 7.30pm kick-off.
Lomas, who will be returning to the dugout after serving an eight-game ban, has also lost defender Gary Miller for up to eight weeks with ankle ligament damage and defender Steven Anderson is out for another fortnight after cartilage surgery.
“We are really stretched for numbers. Murray Davidson has an ankle injury, so we’re thin on the ground. I’d be really worried if we got any more injuries and hopefully Murray will have benefited from a free weekend.
“We’re taking a huge gamble going with what we’ve got for the second half of the season after losing so many players recently.
“Kevin Moon is struggling to be fit regularly and with Gary Miller now out until March it’s a worry.
“Right now we have 13 fit outfield players. One or two more injuries and we’re going to be really tested.”
But his primary concern is the visit from an Aberdeen side which has cashed in on woeful Perth displays twice this term.
“We will have to play better than we did at Pittodrie, that is for sure,” said Lomas. “
That was a nonsense of a game because of the stormy conditions but still we’ll have to be much better than that day.
“The attitude of the boys is never in question though and they will be desperate to put another win on the board.”
With Pawlett in opposition colours, the door opens for Dutch attacker Nigel Hasselbaink to build on an impressive goalscoring display from the bench last time out in a 3-2 defeat at Motherwell.
Lomas said: “Nigel has all the ability but it’s consistency he needs.
His goal against Motherwell was excellent and he’s got what it takes to do that regularly.
“But don’t forget he’s a young player and he’ll be an important one for us.”