Motherwell may have suffered a heavy defeat at the weekend but Mark Reynolds insists confidence is still sky high and the players can’t wait to face Hibs.
A win on Wednesday will see ‘Well confirm European football for a third consecutive season, and Reynolds is in agreement with several others in the Motherwell squad that this fixture is the biggest game of the season.
“It was a bad result on Saturday, and now everyone just wants to put it right. Perhaps we needed some experienced heads on the pitch to tell us not to chase the game at the weekend.” He admitted.
“Now we know if we beat Hibs it secures fourth place and European place. It’s the biggest game of the season so far.
“We’ll go into the game with confidence. If you take the Celtic game out of the equation then we have been playing some really good football – even in games we have lost. We need to show the defensive discipline we had when Craig and Archie first came in, and if we can do that then we definitely believe we can score and get the win.”
This match is the culmination of an unbelievable spell of form since the management duo of Archie Knox and Craig Brown took over at the turn of the year when the club was in a pretty bad state, and Reynolds admits the situation the team now finds themselves in has exceeded his wildest expectations.
“There were wholesale changes at the club at the beginning of the season. So if you had offered us the chance for a winner-takes-all match to get in to Europe against Hibs we would have taken it. It’s a great game to be involved in for the players and the fans and I think everyone’s just looking forward to it.” The young defender said.
“European football is a great experience, and I think the lads that came in recently are sick of us telling them our tales of Europe!”
“I would be magic for us and for the fans if we can get more games in Europe next season.”
Hibs’ Europa Cup dream has been threatening to turn into a nightmare since the turn of the year and their woeful form has seen them concede third place to Dundee United, fourth place to Motherwell, and they are being caught by their Edinburgh rivals Hearts – to whom they suffered a last-minute defeat at home at the weekend.
Any statistician would make The Steelmen heavy favourites, but Motherwell’s talented young stopper doesn’t believe the two sides contrasting form in 2010 will have any bearing on the result:
“Results go against everybody once in a while. Especially in this league where every team has been on a good run and every team has been on a bad run. It’s unfortunate for Hibs that their run of form has come at a bad time.” Reynolds insisted.
“Tomorrow is the type of game where form goes out the window. It comes down to 90 minutes, and whoever wins can just about secure Europe for their team.”
Rumours today suggested Reynolds may find himself in Europe – even if ‘Well don’t, after there were suggestions that a club on the continent have joined the swathes of clubs down south interested in Mark.
Craig Brown has admitted he would let the player go for the right price and last week declared it ‘astonishing’ that a player of Reynolds capabilities has not made a big-money move yet. However the player certainly isn’t desperate to manoeuvre a transfer.
“If a move to a club in Europe in a good league was to come up then it would definitely be something I would look at.” Reynolds said honestly. “But none of the players are looking past the end of the season and the match against Hibs.”
“I’ve achieved a lot at Motherwell and if I have to move on then so be it. However I’d have no problem staying here – it’s a great club and I know that under the current management team I would keep learning and keep progressing as a player. I’m in no hurry.”
Reynolds was speaking as Motherwell launched their support of the ‘see me’ campaign to raise awareness of mental health issues in the Lanarkshire area. A cause the 22 year-old was only too happy to back:
“We’re just looking to raise awareness for the metal health campaign. Anything we can do to help the campaign in Lanarkshire can only be a good thing. Hopefully we can get a little publicity for it by getting a couple of familiar faces to back the campaign.”