St Johnstone come back down to earth as European thoughts replaced by Gayfield
The Saints completed one half of a famous cup double earlier in the year when they defeat Livingston 1-0 to lift the then Betfred Cup, now known as the Premier Sports Cup. It gave them the platform to finish in the top six of the Premiership and then win the Scottish Cup in a remarkable season for the Perth club.
The reward for such a glittering domestic campaign was a Europa League third qualifying round tie against Turkish giants Galatasaray, with a near sold-out McDiarmid Park roaring St Johnstone on in the second leg on Thursday. After pocketing a 1-1 draw on the banks of Bosphorus, they ultimately went down 4-2 on Tayside – although with much credit.
Davidson’s men have the parachute of the Europa Conference League, which takes them to Linz to face Austria outfit LASK next week. But, with Galatasaray’s legendary yet slightly eccentric Fatih Terim in the past, it is Dick Campbell’s Red Lichties who require immediate attention on Sunday afternoon.
Arbroath are for the challenge, even if they lost 4-1 to the Saints in a friendly last month.
“It makes me laugh when some people don’t just hope we can beat St Johnstone but expect us to do it,” quipped Campbell.
“They’ve just held Galatasaray to a 1-1 draw in Istanbul and we are expected to beat them? Get lost!
“There’s no point sitting back and admiring St Johnstone, we have to give it our best shot.”