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St Johnstone’s Zander Clark focused on season opener as Galatasaray trip looms

St Johnstone v Hibernian – Betfred Cup – Semi Final – Hampden Park
(Image credit: Jeff Holmes)

St Johnstone goalkeeper Zander Clark insists focus will not switch to next week’s glamour trip to Galatasaray until after Saturday’s cinch Premiership opener at Ross County.

Saints will be in Istanbul next Thursday to take on the Turkish giants in the Europa League third qualifying round.

The tie is reward for the club’s outstanding season last term in which they won both domestic cups and finished fifth in the league.

Yet while excitement is high, Clark is aware other business needs to be taken care of first.

The 29-year-old said: “Obviously it is going to be a massive occasion for everybody connected with the club. It is a glamour tie.

“But obviously we need to get Saturday out of the way. The sole focus has been geared towards Ross County.

“Once that game is out of the road, hopefully with a positive result, we can start to look forward to the European game.

“You want to go into the opening league game and put in a performance and get a win. If we win it that would give us good confidence going into Thursday. We can use that to help us there.”

Saints will be hard pushed to replicate what was the greatest campaign in the club’s history last term but Clark believes there are areas where the team can improve.

He said: “It is going to be difficult to better it but there were certain points last season we could have bettered. There were results we weren’t happy about we want to put right.

“If we can manage to do that hopefully we’ll finish higher up the league. But it’s always a case of trying to get as many points on the board and try to stay in the league before you can start setting your goals high.

“We’ll be focused on trying to get as many points on the board as possible and we’ll see where it takes us.”