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    McCall keen for Fir Park to inspire run

  • Archive

    Officials appointed for Inverness clash

  • Archive

    Last chance for raffle tickets

  • Archive

    Fitzpatrick departs

  • Archive

    McCall disappointed with United defeat

  • Archive

    Dundee Utd defeat in pictures

  • Archive

    Dundee Utd 2 – 0 Motherwell

  • Archive

    Lead ‘Well to Co-op Cup glory

  • Archive

    Get “FFIT” again this February

  • Archive

    Fitzpatrick offered terms

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    McCall keen for Fir Park to inspire run

    Stuart McCall is hoping a return to familiar surroundings can inspire his troops to end a sequence of seven SPL games without a victory.

    You have to go back to November, and the stunning 4-0 demolition of St. Johnstone, for the last victory for The Steelmen.

    However, after promising signs on Sunday against Dundee, the new gaffer is hoping to end the hoodoo on home turf.

    [onlymembers]“It will be nice to be back at home for the match against Caley. We have had four tough away games and we’ve now got back-to-back home games and it’s up to us to take full advantage,” the 46-year old said.

    “We’ll look to be positive from the start and take the initiative, and look to get a start like we did against Dundee in the cup. If we can be clinical then we can make it a difficult game for Inverness.

    “Maximum points from the next two games will be the target, but we’re under no illusions about just how tough that will be. Inverness have an outstanding away record and will possess their own threats; no doubt about that.

    “In the last two months we have struggled in the league and simply have not picked up enough points. When I came in we’d drawn one and lost four of the previous five. Since then we have drawn at Hamilton and lost at Dundee United.”

    ‘Well will have to go for the win without the previously on-loan star Nick Blackman, who has, instead, opted to join up with Craig Brown at Aberdeen.

    McCall insists he is not too upset about Blackman’s decision, despite intimating that Blackman had told him he was keen to return to Lanarkshire.

    “I’m not too sore about Nick (Blackman) and his decision. Over the last ten days or so I have had an idea that he wouldn’t be coming back, so we have tried to look at different options,” the gaffer admitted.

    “He said after the Hamilton game that if he returned to Scotland he would love it to be with Motherwell because he was settled here, but I think he and his agent were hopeful he would stay in England.

    “I spoke to his agent yesterday and it sounded like even he was surprised with the decision. Craig Brown and Steve Kean (Blackburn boss) are very close and I can understand why it has happened.”

    The former Rangers and Everton midfielder, who is used to working under financial restraints from his time with Bradford City, will now turn his attention to other targets following ten-goal Blackman’s decision.

    The quest for new players is also made more urgent given Alan Gow and Marc Fitzpatrick’s departure.

    “We will be working hard in January to get players in to get us at least up to the end of the season,” the ‘Well boss confirmed. “We still have Murph and Sutton, who have done a good job in the central striking role, and beyond that we have Esteban Casagolda and young Bob McHugh. But we’ve lost Gow and Blackman and up-front is a position we are looking to strengthen.

    “I’ll also be looking for an out-and-out left-sided player. Sutton and Jamie Murphy have both played out there, but I see them as central strikers and I would like to play them there.

    “Three players have left recently, so that frees up a little bit of money in the kitty to bring in new players, which we hope to do next week.”[/onlymembers]

  • Archive

    Officials appointed for Inverness clash

    Referee for Saturday’s Clydesdale Bank Premier League clash with Inverness Caledonian Thistle will be Euan Norris.

    The 33-year-old will be handling his first Motherwell game of the current campaign although it will be his eighth SPL game of the season.

    [onlymembers]You have to go back to last season for ‘Well games handled by Euan. He was the man in the middle when Motherwell beat Falkirk 1-0 at Fir Park. Lukas Jutkiewicz got the only goal of the game, heading home a corner from the left after 18 minutes.

    His other game last campaign was also at Fir Park, the stormy affair between Motherwell and Hibs last February. The Steelmen won the game 1-0 thanks to a Jamie Murphy goal eight minutes from time but the game was marred by a red card for Liam Miller for a challenge on Jim O’Brien midway through the first half.

    Despite only a couple of ‘Well games, Norris isn’t unfamiliar with a Motherwell versus Inverness clash. Indeed, his only other game involving the Fir Parkers was when the two teams met in October 2008.

    Adam Rooney put the Highlanders ahead just after the interval but his goal was cancelled out by the lethal Chris Porter before a stunning Bob Malcolm free-kick seven minutes from the end gave Mark McGhee’s men all three points.

    So Norris’ record in charge of Motherwell is a good one. Motherwell have a 100% record in all three games with the aforementioned Rooney strike the only goal that has hit the back of the Motherwell net.

    Thankfully, FIFA referee Norris usually likes to keep his cards in his pocket with only four cautions handed out in those games, with only one to a ‘Well player (Malcolm at Inverness). His red card to Liam Miller was his only dismissal by the whistler in the SPL last campaign.

    Euan will be ably assisted by Francis Andrews and Gary Sweeney with Charlie Richmond on fourth official duties.[/onlymembers]

  • Archive

    Last chance for raffle tickets

    The Youth Development Christmas Raffle will be drawn this weekend and you have until midday on Saturday to hand your stubs in.

    There has been a magnificent response to this year’s draw and the money raised will help the on-going funding of the Youth Development structure.

    [onlymembers]Winners will be drawn on Saturday, half-time at the Inverness CT game, and notified shortly after.

    Head of Youth Development Gordon Young said, “I would like to thank everyone who has contributed by selling raffle tickets for us this year.

    “We always have to come up with different ways to raise money to keep our programme relevant and this fundraiser is critical to that.

    “If you have any stubs still to come in, make sure you get them to Fir Park before Saturday to ensure your name is in the draw for some of the fantastic prizes on offer.”[/onlymembers]

  • Archive

    Fitzpatrick departs

    Marc Fitzpatrick has rejected a contract offer from Motherwell and has left the club with immediate effect.

    The 24-year-old now looks likely to be signing with First Division side Ross County later today.

    [onlymembers]It brings to an end Fitzpatrick’s ten year affiliation with the club, a decade filled with highs and lows in his 143 appearances in Claret and Amber.

    He made his debut as a substitute in a 1-1 draw against Celtic in 2004 – just one day after his 18th birthday. Despite the fact he was still eligible to play U19 football, Marc was fast-tracked to the first team squad by then boss Terry Butcher in the 2004/05 campaign.

    However, his rise to prominence didn’t arrive until he scored a last-minute winner in a League Cup semi-final.

    His lung-busting run and clinical strike earned Motherwell a dramatic extra-time victory over Hearts and a first Hampden appearance in 14 years. The goal was all the more special for the midfielder as it was his first for the club and one that will live long in the memories of every ‘Well fan at Easter Road that night.

    Injury prevented him making a real impact in the team until the arrival of Mark McGhee to the club in 2007. Fitzpatrick played 63 times in two seasons under the former Brighton boss, but his departure to Aberdeen coincided with another horrendous list of injuries that have plagued the player for the last two years.

    After working his way back to fitness after a bad injury against Hamilton Accies last February, the Lanark-born midfielder started recently against Celtic and Dundee, but has chose a longer term deal in the Highlands.

    Motherwell Football Club would like to sincerely thank Marc for all his efforts over the last ten years and wish him every success in his future career.[/onlymembers]

  • Archive

    McCall disappointed with United defeat

    Stuart McCall was left rueing sloppy marking and a wonder-save from Dusan Pernis as Motherwell lost 2-0 to Dundee United.

    Johnny Russell found space inside the box to net the opening goal on 53 minutes and David Goodwillie added shine to the score with a last-minute breakaway strike.

    [onlymembers]Yet, it could have been so different at Tannadice had Chris Humphrey’s back-post header found the net late on.

    “With five minutes to go the keeper, Pernis, has made an unbelievable save on the line from a header at the back-post. After that we huffed and puffed but just couldn’t create anything concrete.” The gaffer conceded.

    “In the second half we have come out and lost a goal early and that is something you always want to avoid. It was also very disappointing to lose a goal to a set piece. Kenneth is a big lad and there’s always a chance he’ll win the first ball, but we have to be a live to the second ball – and we weren’t.

    “It’s a disappointing result. We didn’t start well enough in the first ten or 15 minutes but once we weathered the storm in the first half, I thought it ended up quite even.

    “But, when you are up against a strike-force like Daly, Russell and Goodwillie you have to accept that you will be on the back-foot at times.

    “I’m relatively pleased with the possession we had. We had the ball in good areas – perhaps we should have done more with it. We didn’t make the keeper do enough work.”

    McCall was forced into one change from the side which defeated Dundee across the road just three days earlier, with Marc Fitzpatrick left out of the squad following his decision to leave the club.

    It’s another blow to the new Motherwell boss, who has admitted he is conscious of his lack of numbers – something he is working hard to resolve.

    “It’s clear we are short on numbers,” he said. We have to get bodies in, and they have to be players who will make the team better, not just for the sake of filling the squad.

    “We’re working really hard and I hope to have some movement on that front soon. No promises before Saturday, but we’ll wait and see.”

    The manager is also focused on lifting his troops for the visit of away-day specialists Inverness Caledonian Thistle on Saturday.

    “We’ve had three home games on the bounce now, and this defeat just makes it all the more important that we get back to winning ways on Saturday against Inverness,” added McCall.[/onlymembers]

  • Archive

    Dundee Utd defeat in pictures

    Pictures from the 2-0 defeat to Dundee United in the Clydesdale Bank Premier League at Tannadice. These action shots and more are available to buy online at www.motherwellpics.com.

    [svgallery name=”dundeeutd120111″]

  • Archive

    Dundee Utd 2 – 0 Motherwell

    [tab:Match report]

    Motherwell suffered a 2-0 defeat to Dundee United this evening following a lacklustre performance at Tannadice.

    Second-half goals from Johnny Russell and David Goodwillie earned the home side a comfortable victory over the Steelmen.

    After a first period of fairly concerted pressure from the hosts, they eventually took the lead after the break when Russell nodded home after Garry Kenneth won a header from a Paul Dixon corner.

    Russell then turned provider for Goodwillie to make sure of the points on the stroke of full-time following a swift breakaway.

    It was a disappointing night for Stuart McCall’s men, who returned to Dundee in a confident mood just three days after the Scottish Cup victory over United’s neighbours.

    The manager made one change to the team which won 4-0 at Dens Park, with Ross Forbes taking the place of Marc Fitzpatrick, who turned down a contract extension to remain at the club.

    That change facilitated a change in formation, with Motherwell playing a 4-3-3 with Chris Humphrey and Jamie Murphy flanking lone striker John Sutton.

    Peter Houston’s men were playing their first SPL home game in two months and were clearly keen to claim a comprehensive victory, starting with Russell, Goodwillie and captain Jon Daly in an attacking starting eleven.

    It didn’t take long for their attacking intent to become apparent, striking the post within three minutes. A long ball was played up to the sought-after Goodwillie, and he cushioned a delightful flick into the path of Daly. The United captain teed up Russell on the edge of the box and he saw his low drive come crashing back the base of the post.

    Five minutes later the hosts created another chance as a Scott Robertson cross was only cleared as far as Morgaro Gomis on the edge of the area but he dragged his volley well wide.

    United remained on top in the opening stages and two more chances soon followed. Firstly, Prince Buaben fired in a vicious 20 yard drive which forced Darren Randolph to parry wide before Goodwillie shot tamely at the Motherwell keeper from close range.

    Then out of nothing and against the run of play, Jamie Murphy almost scored at the other end when he jinked in from the right flank before firing in a rasping drive inches past the post.

    Dundee soon regained control however and Morgaro Gomis was obviously fancying his chances of getting his name on the score-sheet to warm up a bitterly cold Dundee night as he fired two shots from distance in the space of five minutes.

    The first effort was straight at Randolph following some neat build-up play, before, with 15 minutes until the break, he forced the big English stopper to sprawl full length to parry another shot from the edge of the box wide.

    A Forbes free-kick from 30 yards out proved to be the closest ‘Well would come in the remainder of the first half. His powerful strike drifted just over Pernis’ crossbar as the opening 45 drew to a close.

    United flew out of the traps in the second-half and almost broke the deadlock when Goodwillie broke down the left and fired in a teasing cross. With Daly arriving, Randolph could only parry the ball as far as Buaben, who fired wide from the corner of the six-yard area.

    The already-frustrated hosts had even more cause for complaints moments later as Russell appeared to be bundled over in the box by Chris Humphrey, although referee Iain Brines booked the midfielder for diving.

    United continued to attack and their pressure paid off on 53 minutes with the opening goal. A Dixon cross was won at the back post by the towering Kenneth and his header across the six-yard box was nodded home by Russell, via the post.

    With Motherwell looking to steady the ship, the Arabs were restricted to long range efforts, the most dangerous of which was from Goodwillie, who thrashed a 25-yard dive towards goal. Randolph spilled the ball at first but then threw himself to the ground to grasp the ball ahead of the incoming Daly.

    United were nearly made to pay for not taking advantage of their dominance as Motherwell went close to snatching the most unlikely of draws late on. Murphy lifted a beautiful ball to the back post where Humphrey arrived to head the ball towards goal, only for Pernis to push the ball away on the line.

    But they did make sure of the points in the 90th minute with Russell broke free and fed Goodwillie, who slotted home from six yards to make it 2-0.

    [tab:As it happened]

    90’+2 FULL-TIME The referee signals the end of the game.

    90′ GOAL David Goodwillie finds the net with a goal from inside the penalty area to the bottom left corner of the goal.

    89′ SUB Stuart Armstrong comes on for Jon Daly.

    84′ A cross is delivered by Jamie Murphy, Chris Humphrey takes a shot. Brilliant save by Dusan Pernis.

    83′ SUB Craig Conway joins the action as a substitute, replacing David Robertson.

    81′ SUB Esteban Casagolda comes on for Keith Lasley.

    79′ Foul by John Sutton on Garry Kenneth, free kick awarded. Sean Dillon takes the free kick. 

    79′ SUB Scott Robertson replaces Prince Buaben for the home side.

    78′ David Goodwillie takes a shot. Save by Darren Randolph.

    77′ Free kick awarded for a foul by Steve Jennings on Morgaro Gomis. Free kick crossed by Paul Dixon, Stephen Craigan manages to make a clearance. 

    75′ SUB Jamie Pollock comes on for Ross Forbes.

    69′ Ross Forbes concedes a free kick for a foul on David Goodwillie. Sean Dillon takes the free kick.

    65′ Inswinging corner taken by Paul Dixon from the right by-line played to the near post, Tom Hateley manages to make a clearance.

    64′ Keith Lasley fouled by Prince Buaben, the ref awards a free kick. Tom Hateley has an effort direct from the free kick, Prince Buaben gets a block in.

    62′ Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Mark Reynolds by Jon Daly. Direct free kick taken by Darren Randolph.

    62′ David Goodwillie takes a shot. Save by Darren Randolph.

    53′ GOAL Johnny Russell scores a headed goal from a Paul Dixon corner, assist by Garry Kenneth.

    51′ BOOKING Paul Dixon is shown a yellow card.

    46′ KICK-OFF The match restarts for the second half.

    45′ HALF-TIME Referee Iain Brines brings the first-half to an end.

    44′ Outswinging corner taken by Paul Dixon from the left by-line, Steve Jennings manages to make a clearance.

    35′ Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on John Sutton by Garry Kenneth. Direct effort from the free kick comes in from Ross Forbes.

    33′ The assistant referee flags for offside against Jamie Murphy. Garry Kenneth takes the indirect free kick.

    33′ Unfair challenge on Tom Hateley by David Goodwillie results in a free kick. Ross Forbes delivers the ball from the free kick left-footed from right wing.

    30′ Unfair challenge on Jamie Murphy by Sean Dillon results in a free kick. Jamie Murphy takes the direct free kick.

    29′ Morgaro Gomis takes a shot. Save made by Darren Randolph.

    28′ Foul by Keith Lasley on Johnny Russell, free kick awarded. Sean Dillon takes the free kick.

    25′ The offside flag is raised against Jon Daly. Stephen Craigan restarts play with the free kick.

    24′ Morgaro Gomis takes a shot. Darren Randolph makes a save.

    20′ Shot from just outside the box by John Sutton goes over the bar.

    19′ Corner taken left-footed by Paul Dixon from the right by-line, save made by Darren Randolph.

    16′ David Goodwillie takes a shot. Save by Darren Randolph.

    14′ Outswinging corner taken by Paul Dixon from the left by-line, Stephen Craigan manages to make a clearance.

    14′ Prince Buaben takes a shot. Darren Randolph makes a save.

    13′ Keith Lasley challenges Garry Kenneth unfairly and gives away a free kick. Paul Dixon takes the direct free kick.

    9′ John Sutton challenges Sean Dillon unfairly and gives away a free kick. Garry Kenneth takes the direct free kick.

    9′ Morgaro Gomis has an effort at goal from just inside the box that misses to the right of the goal.

    4′ Johnny Russell has an effort at goal from outside the box, hitting the post.

    1′ KICK-OFF The game begins.

    [tab:Reaction]

    Motherwell manager Stuart McCall:

    “It’s a disappointing result. We didn’t start well enough in the first ten or 15 minutes but once we weathered the storm in the first half, I thought it ended up quite even.

    “But, when you are up against a strike-force like Daly, Russell and Goodwillie you have to accept that you will be on the back-foot at times.

    “All managers will tell you they are hugely disappointed to lose a goal from a set-piece. Kenneth is a big lad but it’s the second balls you have got to be alert to and we weren’t.

    “After that we huffed and puffed. The ‘keeper made an outstanding save from Humphs with five minutes to go and we just got caught pushing forward at the end.

    “I’m relatively pleased with the possession we had. We had the ball in good areas – although perhaps we should have done more with it. We didn’t make the keeper do enough work.”

    Dundee Utd manager Peter Houston:

    “Johnny Russell scoring was so well deserved because he put in a great shift. The boy has a great chance in the game.

    “He is not even playing in his best position yet because he was a right good striker and a good goalscorer through all the youth teams.

    “It was great to see a young lad like Stuart Armstrong come on and be positive, driving forward into the box, and one where I thought he was going to pull the trigger, he laid Goodie in, who showed good composure and a great finish.

    “It wasn’t Goodie’s best night but I thought if you keep him on the park, he is liable to score a goal, and he did.”

    [tab:Man-of-the-match]

    [poll id=”28″]

  • Archive

    Lead ‘Well to Co-op Cup glory

    Motherwell Football Club have have teamed up with The Co-operative Insurance to offer one fan a great prize.

    We’re giving a lucky young Motherwell fan, the dream opportunity to lead their team out in the Rangers v Motherwell semi-final of The Co-operative Insurance Cup on Sunday 30 January at Hampden Park.

    [onlymembers]As well as leading their side out in The Co-operative Insurance Cup, the lucky winner will receive a pair of match tickets for themselves and an accompanying parent or guardian.  They will be able to enjoy all the excitement of the match from some of the best seats in the stadium – AND get their hands on a special Co-operative Insurance Cup mascot kit.

    To be in with a chance of winning this fantastic football prize, courtesy of The Co-operative Insurance, all you have to do is answer the following question:

    Who was the last Motherwell player to score in a Semi Final back in February 2006?

    Was it:

    A> Richie Foran
    B> Willie Pettigrew
    C> Crawford Baptie

    Entrants must be aged between 8 and 12 years old and the winners must be accompanied to the game by a parent or guardian.

    Please send your answer to mfc@motherwellfc.co.uk (with Subject Line “Semi Final Mascot Competition) including the following information:  

    Name
    Address
    Telephone number
    Age

    The competition will close at 11.59pm on Wednesday 19th January. A winner will be drawn, at random, on Thursday 20th January with winners notified the same day.

    This season is the twelfth consecutive season of The Co-operative Insurance’s sponsorship of the Scottish League Cup. Over the past twelve seasons eleven different teams have participated in the Final with four teams going on to lift The Co-operative Insurance Cup – Celtic, Rangers, Livingston and Hibernian.

    As well as the sponsorship of The Co-operative Insurance Cups in Scotland and Northern Ireland, The Co-operative Insurance has been investing in football since the 1970s and supports grassroots initiatives throughout the UK.

    Since The Co-operative Insurance grassroots programme began in 1999 youth teams have been supplied with over 3,700 sets of kit and 750 sets of equipment and football coaching has been provided for more than 16,500 children.

    The Co-operative Insurance is part of the wider financial services group, The Co-operative Financial Services, which is the name for the group of businesses consisting of The Co-operative Insurance, The Co-operative Investments and The Co-operative Bank including smile and Britannia.[/onlymembers]

  • Archive

    Get “FFIT” again this February

    Football Fans in Training (FFIT) is a nationwide health project running across every club in the SPL and set to kick off for a second time this February at Fir Park.

    Supporters can sign up to take part in sessions aimed at increasing physical activity, improving diet and promoting a healthy lifestyle.

    FFIT is open to 35-65 year old overweight males and is being provided by Motherwell FC as a FREE service to our supporters! You will become part of the club for 12 weeks, being issued with official Motherwell FC training kit to work with our football and health coaches one evening per week.

    Similar programmes have proved a massive success with clubs in the English Premiership and Championship. And Motherwell were top of the table when it comes to weight loss in the previous programme ran up until Christmas.

    To sign up all you have to do is meet the criteria below, and contact us with your details.

    It’s a great opportunity to improve your fitness, lose weight, and train with fellow supporters at Fir Park and also help shift some of the excess Christmas weight!

    MOTHERWELL FC FOOTBALL FANS IN TRAINING

    Start Date: Monday, 7th February, 5pm-7pm and 7.15pm-9.15pm  
    Venue:  Davie Cooper Suite, Fir Park

    ELIGIBILITY

    You are eligible to take part if you are a male between 35 and 65 years old and meet any of the following criteria:

    • BMI of 27+   (Calculate this by visiting http://www.nhlbisupport.com/bmi/ )
    • Belly 100cm +  (measure your waist and go around your belly!)
    • Trouser waist size of 38 inches +

    CONTACT

    To get involved please email us on graeme.mcarthur@motherwellfc.co.uk with the details below:

    Name
    Address
    Postcode
    Contact Telephone
    BMI / Belly / Trouser size

    Or contact the MOTHERWELL FC FFIT team on:

    Telephone:  01698 239923
    Text:  07912389936
    Email:  Graeme.mcarthur@motherwellfc.co.uk

    CLUB ACTION: Scottish Government funding requires us to keep a record of everyone who has responded even if they turn out not to be eligible, or drop out of the programme.

  • Archive

    Fitzpatrick offered terms

    ‘Well boss Stuart McCall has confirmed that Marc Fitzpatrick has been offered a new contract after his deal expired yesterday.

    The 24-year-old, who has had a torrid time with injuries in recent years, has fought his way back into contention in recent weeks and started games at both Celtic Park and last Sunday at Dens Park.

    [onlymembers]His previous contract, signed during the summer, was designed to allow the Lanark-born midfielder time to get himself fully fit after an injury sustained against Hamilton last February.

    And McCall told the gathered media this afternoon that the club have made the player another offer.

    “We’ve offered Mark a deal and we hope to hear back from him in the next 24-hours or so,” said McCall.

    “He does have an offer from another club on the table though so it’s something he will have to consider carefully and we are respectful of that.”[/onlymembers]