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Jason Kerr taking inspiration from St Johnstone cup feats

Jason Kerr taking inspiration from St Johnstone cup feats
© Reuters
The Perth side are preparing to face Turkish giants Galatasaray in the Europa League qualifiers.

Skipper Jason Kerr believes St Johnstone can use their stunning Scottish Cup triumph over Rangers last season as an inspirational benchmark for their trip to Galatasaray.

The domestic double cup holders are preparing for the first leg of their Europa League third qualifying round tie against the Turkish giants on Thursday.

Saints qualified for Europe by dint of winning the Scottish Cup, during which they knocked out the champions in the quarter-finals in sensational fashion via a last-gasp equaliser and a penalty shoot-out at Ibrox, days after holding Steven Gerrard's side to a 1-1 draw in the league.

Kerr will draw on those memories ahead of Thursday's first leg in Turkey.

The 24-year-old defender said: "Galatasaray are obviously a massive club and those are the teams you want to be playing against and obviously winning the trophies, winning the Scottish Cup, has given us the opportunity to do that.

"We have ambitions to go as far as we can in this competition but all the respect to Galatasaray, they are a top club and they have played in the Champions League and Europa League for years now.

"They are going to be a really tough test but I feel we have more than enough in the dressing room to go and test them.

"We are going to go in with a game plan. We need to believe we can go and beat them otherwise we may as well stay in Scotland.

"We obviously have a really good squad here, we have not lost that many players from last season, it is basically the same team and we showed last season, we won two trophies, we did well in the league as well and challenged Rangers and Celtic as well.

"There is not that much of a gap in standard between Rangers and Galatasaray so if we can do what we did to Rangers, why can't we do it against Galatasaray?

"We definitely have the team to do that, we have a lot of threat and are really good defensively as a unit so I think we can really test them."

Kerr has been linked with Hibernian, Bournemouth, Wigan and Oxford this summer but is "fully focused on the task at hand".

He said: "It is obviously flattering that there have been clubs interested but that shows you how well we did last season.

"There are clubs interested in other players are well. If you win two trophies and finish in the top six it would be worrying if there wasn't a lot of clubs interested.

"But we are all fully focused on St Johnstone right now, we all have contracts until the end of the year if not longer so we are fully focused on the season ahead. It is an exciting time to be a St Johnstone player."

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