St Johnstone's Steve Lomas has no problems with Rangers' Ally McCoist

Ally McCoist and Steve Lomas
McCoist and Lomas last met as the sides drew 0-0 in November at Ibrox

St Johnstone manager Steve Lomas insists there is no animosity between himself and Ally McCoist over Rangers' bid to lure Francisco Sandaza to Ibrox.

McCoist has made public his interest in Spanish striker Sandaza in the summer, while Rangers also bid for midfielder Murray Davidson last summer.

"Murray and Fran are our players," Lomas said ahead of Rangers' visit on Saturday. "There have been no offers.

"There's never been any problem with me and Ally McCoist."

Lomas has offered Sandaza, who has netted 13 goals this season and five in his last four games, a contract extension beyond the summer.

And the manager does not wish to cash-in by selling the player during the January transfer window even if cash-strapped Rangers manage to bid for the forward.

"I think Ally McCoist is a great man, an Ibrox legend," said Lomas.

"He's got a very tough job there because he's following an Ibrox legend of a manager in Walter Smith and somewhat he's got his hands tied behind his back."

Lomas wants to strengthen his own squad, believing that successive defeats by Motherwell, Aberdeen and Celtic last month were due to being without adequate cover for his frontline players.

"We'd like to bring in one or two, because I do believe, if we get injuries, it can affect us," he added.

"For the three losses on the spin, we had five players out.

"It would be to add competition. I'm putting a couple of things to the chairman and then it's down to the chairman to decide."

One boost for Lomas is the likely return to fitness of Cillian Sheridan, who this week signed an extension to his loan deal from Bulgaria's CSKA Sofia until the end of the season.

The 22-year-old Irishman has made one fleeting appearance under Lomas, starting the 3-1 win over Hibernian in November but departing after eight minutes due to a hamstring injury.