St Johnstone manager Steve Lomas admits the previous experience of a former mentor has prevented him from setting his players too ambitious a target this season.
With the first game of the league campaign at Hearts just 24 hours away, the Perth club would surely love to emulate what they did last season and book a swift return to Europa League competition this time next year.
However, Lomas has warned his players not to look no further than their trip to Tynecastle this weekend having witnessed former boss Harry Redknapp burned by bold pre-season predictions earlier in his career.
”Europe brings its own expectations,” he said.
”We are all ambitious, we want to do well here. And we have got a great team spirit.
”The lads have had a taste of it against Eskisehirspor and hopefully that will spur us all on.
”But let’s not get ahead of ourselves.
”The first priority every season for St Johnstone is to secure our SPL status and then look at things from there.s
”If you do get ahead of yourself that’s when trouble comes your way.
”I remember finishing fifth at West Ham under Harry Redknapp which was probably the equivalent of us winning the championship.
”But I still remember Harry giving us the big talk and saying ‘Call me mad but I think we can go for the title this season.’
”I nearly choked on my cornflakes. We then lost Rio Ferdinand and later Harry got the old tin tack! You remember those sort of things so I won’t be telling my lads they are going for the championship.”
Despite the signing of striker Rowan Vine this week, Lomas has revealed he is still determined to bring three or four new players in to bolster the SPL challenge this term.
”I still feel there’s room for a few more to reach the standards of last season, although I’m sure the chairman won’t be happy to hear that,” Lomas continued.
”We have some very good, experienced, hard-working and honest pros here.
”They have team spirit and integrity and that’s probably why we did so well last season. We’re going to need that again, especially with the start we’ve got because it’s going to be all hands to the pump.
”But we had a lot of boys going out of contact and it was no secret we wanted to keep a few of them.
”For various reasons we couldn’t hold onto them. We lost around 10 from the squad so that’s why I’m keen to still get players in.
”Last season we had five strikers: Fran Sandaza, Cillian Sheridan, Marcus Haber, Sean Higgins and Carl Finnigan, and those aren’t bad strikers, whichever way you look at it. So I would still like another striker and a couple of wide men. I wanted to get pace into the team because that’s what excites fans.
”Lee Croft did that to a certain extent and I always played with wingers like Peter Beagrie, Nicky Summerbee, Stan Lazaridis, Michael Hughes and Keith Gillespie with Northern Ireland.
”You can’t legislate for pace and it gets people to the edge of their seats and gets them enjoying their football.”
A number of players have been linked with Saints in recent days, including former Dundee midfielder Craig Forsyth, who is likely to be loaned out by Championship side Watford.
But Lomas simply said yesterday: ”I like Craig, but I’m sure there’s a lot of teams in Scotland who like Craig.”