Preview: St Johnstone (a)

Last updated : 13 August 2009 By Firparkcorner

The scale of the changes at Fir Park can be seen if we look back at the personnel who played in the Europa League. Of the players who faced Steaua Bucharest last week, only four played in the last SPL game against Kilmarnock. Among those who left are Hughes, Clarkson, Quinn, Smith and Malcolm and they have been replaced with youngsters. All eight of goals scored against Flamurtari came from players still in their teens. And we have a manager without SPL experience.

On the face of it Motherwell fans could have reason to fear for the club's fortunes this season but instead we are cautiously optimistic. Jim Gannon has given the youngsters a chance, taken the bold decision to drop a few of the regulars and imported a few from England. He has a clear idea of the development path he wants to follow.

St Johnstone don't have their troubles to seek. It seems that 41 year old Alan Main will be in goal (there must still be hope for 33 year old Colin Meldrum!) following a training injury to Graeme Smith. Kevin Rutkiewicz and Andy Jackson are also unavailable and they are not alone in the treatment room.

Manager Derek McInness is reported to be happy with his team's pre-season and we can be sure that the unfurling of the First Division flag will fire them up.

If we can continue the good work already evident at home and abroad then we have every reason to expect a happy homeward journey with a 2-0 win.