Europa League: Gregory Tade adamant St Johnstone can overturn Turkish deficit
STRIKER Gregory Tade could be St Johnstone’s secret weapon against Turkish side Eskisehirspor tonight as Steve Lomas’s side try to rescue their Europa League campaign.
The summer recruit from Inverness Caledonian Thistle had to stay behind for treatment on a hamstring strain as his team-mates battled to a 2-0 first-leg loss in the first leg of their second qualifying round tie.
But now the Frenchman is set to be unleashed as Saints bid to pull off a shock win and set-up a glamour clash with French side Marseille next week.
Tade said: “I’m feeling a bit better and I’m training again so I’m hoping to make it. I had always made it clear that having Europa League football to look forward played a big part in my decision to sign for the club from Inverness. So it was a huge blow.
“I had done all the pre-season training and played in two friendly games. Everything was going brilliantly. Then, when the most important game of the season was coming around, I picked up the hamstring injury.”
If Tade gets the green light from manager Lomas, he’s confident he can crack the international-studded Turkish defence and preserve the club’s proud unbeaten home record in Euro competition.
Tade added: “I am here to score goals and I am always positive. There is no defence in the world that can’t be cracked open.” Tade is taking inspiration, from the celebrations after a shock win for First Division outsiders Raith Rovers at Aberdeen.
“It is the Scottish way that you take pride in your work and always believe that you can achieve great things.
“If you don’t believe then you may as well stay at home. We are underdogs but we can win. That is what makes football great.
“The biggest shock I have been involved in was with Raith Rovers in the Scottish Cup when we went up to Aberdeen and won.
“We had lots of injuries that day and our key player Mark Campbell was involved in a car crash just before the match.
“We had players playing out of position, too, but we did the job and I scored that day. So the attitude has to be right.
“If you get too complacent you get stung, it’s as simple as that.
“If they come here thinking ‘we earn big money every week, we’ve already won 2-0 and we’re coming to Scotland and it’s just a formality’, then they could be in for a shock. Hopefully we can give them a wake-up call.”
Saints could also be boosted by skipper Dave Mackay, who is poised to figure in the squad after a calf injury.
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Saturday 25 May 2013
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Temperature: 8 C to 17 C
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