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    McCall wants magic Hampden occasion

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    ‘Well complete Gunning signing

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    St Mirren U19s 0 – 2 Motherwell U19s

  • Archive

    Humphrey pens contract extension

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    Saunders earns a suspension

  • Archive

    Ticket Office: Extended Hours

  • Archive

    Last chance to book Hampden packages

  • Archive

    Officials appointed for Hampden clash

  • Archive

    Youths return to action

  • Archive

    Voting open for monthly awards

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    McCall wants magic Hampden occasion

    Stuart McCall has called on his players to ensure they do not leave Hampden with any regrets on Sunday afternoon.

    The Steelmen boss is no stranger to these huge encounters, having won this competition twice as a player, and he insists that if his players give their all, and don’t let the occasion get to them, then they could pull off a shock.

    [onlymembers]“If my players come off the pitch having done their best and made their families proud then I’m happy – and hopefully that will be enough to get us a win,” the gaffer insisted

    “I’m looking forward to being involved in a semi-final. Obviously more gets made about the fact that I’m up against Rangers, but it’s not about me, it’s about the group of players I’ve got and it’s about the fans who are getting a trip to Hampden for the first time in a while.

    “I’m desperate for the lads to do well on the occasion. I don’t want the young boys to freeze; they should grasp the opportunity and enjoy the game, and not worry about the all the things that go along with a big semi-final.

    “They shouldn’t come off that pitch with any regrets. I believe that we have players – if they are at the top of their game – that can cause Rangers problems.”

    There is certainly a degree of irony about the fact Stuart McCall faces his old gaffer and team-mate in one of the defining moments of his short management career so far.

    The 46-year old played under Walter Smith for seven years after the veteran Ibrox gaffer paid £1.2M for his services, and he was a close friend of Gers’ current assistant Ally McCoist during a hugely successful period for the blue half of Glasgow.

    Now the current ‘Well boss is fully committed to bringing silverware to Fir Park, although he acknowledges that the Rangers duo are favourites to reach the final.

    “It would be an unbelievable achievement to get to a final. The record is that we haven’t beaten Rangers in about eight years, so that’s not ideal,” McCall was honest enough to acknowledge.

    “I respect Walter as a manager and as a man. He is undoubtedly the best manager I ever worked under, and whatever happens at the weekend won’t change that.

    “I remember facing Walter Smith when I was caretaker boss at Bradford and he was in charge at Everton. They robbed us that day with a last-minute Naysmith goal, so I’m hoping for some role-reversal on Sunday.”[/onlymembers]

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    ‘Well complete Gunning signing

    Motherwell have tonight completed the signing of Blackburn Rovers defender Gavin Gunning on loan until the end of the season.

    Gunning, an Irish U21 International, has had loan spells with Tranmere Rovers, Rotherham and, most recently, League Two outfit Bury.

    [onlymembers]The 20-year-old joins the club as cover for the departed Mark Reynolds, who left for Sheffield Wednesday earlier in the transfer window.

    Speaking exclusively to motherwellfc.co.uk, ‘Well boss Stuart McCall said, “It’s been no secret that we have been looking for a left sided centre-back.

    “Young Gavin is a good option, not just to fill the void left by Mark Reynolds but also the fact we had no natural cover for Stevie Hammell. We needed someone who could also fill in at left-back if required; previously, either Reynolds or Marc Fitzpatrick would do that but given both have left, it was important to have someone versatile for that role.

    “We have some really talented youngsters coming through on the left flank but they are not quite ready as yet.

    “Gavin is someone who is highly rated at Blackburn and, importantly, someone who has experience of being out on loan before. Sometimes young lads can get overawed going out for the first time but given he’s been at Tranmere, Rotherham and Bury means he’ll have experienced different styles of football at different clubs.

    “We’re excited to see how well he does here.”

    Gunning has already received clearance and is eligible to play in Sunday’s Co-operative Insurance Cup Semi Final at Hampden.[/onlymembers]

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    St Mirren U19s 0 – 2 Motherwell U19s

    Motherwell U19s returned to action with a good win over St Mirren courtesy of a goal in each half from Lee Erwin.

    The youths hadn’t kicked a ball since the 3-1 away defeat with Celtic but showed no signs of rustiness with a slick performance against the Saints.

    The home side were the first to threaten after just eight minutes. Right back Dom Kennedy started the quick counter with a forward pass that was flicked on by Thomas Reilly into the path of Joel Kasubandi. Through on goal, the big striker’s low shot was expertly saved by Tom Bradley only for the rebound to fall kindly for the supporting Graeme Ramage. However, the midfielder snatched at the effort and ballooned a half volley high over the cross bar as the Steelmen survived.

    Motherwell replied immediately, and industrious play by Josh Watt allowed Steve Howarth a chance to run in behind the Saints defence. With a shot on, the striker chose the unselfish, but ultimately wrong, option by trying to pick out partner Erwin inside the area, but Saints were able to clear before the Scotland U17 International could strike home from close range.

    Play swung from end to end but it was ‘Well who threatened next just before the midway point of the first half. Neat play on the left between Ross McKinnon and Erwin opened space for Howarth who rasped a shot from distance. It looked to be heading wide but Dom McHugh took no chances and turned it round for a corner. The resulting kick from the quadrant wasn’t properly cleared and Watt smashed in another long range effort that was held by the Saints keeper.

    Motherwell were beginning to get the upper hand and almost took the lead with a classic bit of route one football. Tom Bradley’s goal kick was flicked on by Erwin putting Howarth through on goal. Just as the former Clyde man was about to pull the trigger, he was expertly tackled by Craeg Little at the expense of another corner kick for the Steelmen.

    That warning shot wasn’t heeded by the home side though as ‘Well went ahead from the resulting corner. Watt swung in a tantalising near post cross that was met by Lee Erwin who used all the pace on the ball to steer it past McHugh virtually unopposed.

    It was to prove the last action of an otherwise entertaining first forty-five. Saints started the second period on the front foot and Ramage fired just over Bradley’s crossbar after a neat lay off by Kasubandi on the edge of the area.

    It took ‘Well sixteen minutes to register an effort but even then, Watt’s low shot from twenty-five yards was more than comfortable for McHugh. Three minutes later, Watt turned provider and after some excellent wing play, picked out Howarth in the area but the striker could only head over from close range.

    Incredibly, the same player had another header shortly after, getting on the end of an excellent Keiran MacDonald cross from the left, but McHugh made an incredible one-handed save from point blank range to deny the Steelmen a second.

    St Mirren weathered that spell of Motherwell pressure and responded with a decent shot of their own. Good play on the right opened up space for Kenny McLean on the inside right flank. Taking a decent touch to set himself, the midfielder struck a stinging drive that forced Bradley to tip wide, although it was probably going a yard or two wide of the post in any case.

    However, with fourteen minutes left on the clock, Motherwell tied up the game with the all important second. Ross McKinnon picked up the ball ten yards inside the Saints half, and dinked up a fantastic ball towards the penalty spot where Howarth nipped in ahead of the outrushing McHugh and knocked the ball sideways, where the grateful Erwin tucked into an empty net for his second of the match.

    Saints had a few efforts from distance in an attempt to get themselves back into the match but nothing that would trouble Bradley in the visitor’s goal.

    But neither team would add to their score and Gordon Young’s men would head back to Lanarkshire with all three points.

    Motherwell: Bradley, Brown, Sloan, Murray, McKinnon, Carswell, Halsman, MacDonald (Griffin – 86mins), Watt (Connor – 81mins), Erwin (McGachie – 79mins), Howarth

  • Archive

    Humphrey pens contract extension

    Motherwell Football Club are today delighted to confirm that winger Chris Humphrey has signed a one-year extension to his current contract.

    The Jamaican-born winger has been in sensational form this term, so much so, a call-up to Craig Levein’s Scotland squad has been muted in some quarters.

    Despite interest from both north and south of the border, the 23-year-old has penned an extended deal that will keep him at Fir Park until the summer of 2013.

    [onlymembers]Speaking exclusively to motherwellfc.co.uk, Humphrey said, “When the club approached me and asked if I would sign an extension to my contract it was an immediate answer.

    “When my family and I were going through a very difficult time the Club and the fans offered us amazing support. We are very much settled here and I could not be happier than to agree to extend my contract with a club that offers the support that we received when we needed it. 

    “I just hope I can perform to the best of my ability and repay the faith shown in me by both the club and the fans.”

    Chief Executive Leeann Dempster added, “This is yet another example of the club trying to keep the best young talent here at Motherwell and I, along with the rest of the board and the manager, am thrilled Chris has agreed to extend his deal.

    “Chris has been excellent and this show of loyalty to the club should not be underplayed.”[/onlymembers]

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    Saunders earns a suspension

    Scotland International Steven Saunders has gone through the disciplinary points threshold and picked up a one-match ban.

    The 19-year-old, who has played 59 games in Claret and Amber, has amassed five cautions and one red card in all competitions this campaign.

    [onlymembers]His most recent, against Hibs, has earned him a one match SPL suspension, starting 5th February 2011, which means he is scheduled to sit out the Rangers game at Ibrox on February 12th.[/onlymembers]

  • Archive

    Ticket Office: Extended Hours

    With the Semi Final against Rangers right around the corner, the Ticket Office opening hours have been extended.

    The Fir Park Ticket Office will be open:

    Friday: 9.30am – 3.30pm
    Saturday: 10am – 2pm

    Then the Ticket Office at Hampden Park will be open:

    Sunday: 12pm – Kick Off (3pm)

    • Telephone bookings can still be taken provided they can be collected from Fir Park on either Friday or Saturday. Tickets cannot be posted and there will be no collections from Hampden Park.
    • There is no online booking available for this match.
  • Archive

    Last chance to book Hampden packages

    Our trip to Hampden for the Co-Operative Insurance Cup Semi-Final v Rangers takes place this Sunday.

    Last chance to book your hospitality place is noon on Friday!

    We have a fantastic Semi-Final package available; start off the big day with a succulent two course buffet lunch in the Centenary Suite.

    The package will include travel to and from the National Stadium from Fir Park plus your match ticket and complimentary Semi-Final programme. 

    A triumphant return to Fir Park (hopefully) will see the Centenary as the venue for our victory party.

  • Archive

    Officials appointed for Hampden clash

    Willie Collum will take charge of Sunday’s Co-operative Insurance Cup Semi Final clash with Rangers at Hampden.

    Regarded as one of Scotland’s best up-and-coming officials, this will be Willie’s second Motherwell game of the current campaign.

    [onlymembers]Ironically enough, his only other was the Quarter Final clash with Dundee United at Fir Park; Alan Gow’s late goal booking ‘Well’s spot in Sunday’s showpiece occasion.

    The Bellshill whistler has had a busy, and at times, challenging season. Just before that Cup clash with the Arabs, the 32-year-old had been at the centre of an Old Firm storm after awarding Rangers a controversial penalty.

    However, to his credit, Collum has gone on to have another excellent season with highlights so far including three Champions League games in Greece, Germany and Romania as well as the Euro 2012 qualifier between France and Belarus in Paris.

    Last season, Collum took charge of three Motherwell matches. Jim Gannon’s side crashed to a disappointing 3-0 defeat at St Mirren in the Co-operative Cup and followed that with another defeat; by the same score line, at Tannadice some five months later.

    However, the most memorable, by far was the 6-6 draw with Hibs at the tail end of last season.

    Incredibly, Motherwell have never won a league game whilst Collum has been in charge. The only victory recorded whilst the Bellshill based whistler has been the man in the middle was the then CIS Cup win against Raith Rovers at the start of the 2007/08 season,  a Scottish Cup success at Inverurie the following season and the aforementioned win over Dundee Utd last October.

    His overall record in charge of the Steelmen reads three wins, six defeats and two draws from eleven matches.

    In those games, Motherwell have scored 18 and conceded 24. 20 players have gone into the book, ten wearing claret and amber, while two players have been dismissed – Ian Murray of Hibs at Easter Road a few years back and Jerard Aafjes at Falkirk last season.

    Alasdair Ross and Tommy Johnston will run the lines, with Mike Tumilty on fourth official duties.[/onlymembers]

  • Archive

    Youths return to action

    Motherwell Under 19s will return to competitive action for the first time in ten weeks when they visit St Mirren this Friday.

    The unprecedented cold weather during the December period wiped out just about every youth fixture with the Steelmen having not played since losing to Celtic at Lennoxtown in mid November.

    [onlymembers]‘Well currently sit in fifth position, ten points behind leaders Rangers albeit with a game in hand. Hearts, Celtic and Aberdeen are all amongst the chasing pack in what is a competitive Under 19s league this campaign.

    Saints are going reasonably well to; they sit just two points behind the Fir Parkers with a game in hand over Young’s men. However, they will still be hurting from their late, late exit from the Youth Cup at the hands of Aberdeen on Tuesday.

    A win for David Longwell’s side would push them above the Claret and Amber men so all the ingredients are there for a cracking game.

    The game will take place at McKenna Park, home of St Anthony’s Juniors, this coming Friday (28th January), with kick-off scheduled for 1pm.[/onlymembers]

  • Archive

    Voting open for monthly awards

    It’s time for you to decide who you think deserves to win the Clydesdale Bank Premier League Manager, Player and Young Player of the Month for January. 

    Has someone in our team caught your eye with their performances over the month? Or has our manager suitably impressed you?  Vote and you could be in with a chance to win a pair of hospitality tickets to one of our upcoming fixtures!

    Fans can vote by visiting the Clydesdale Bank Premier League website www.cbfootball.co.uk and the top three fans nominations will be put forward to the shortlist for the panel of Scottish football experts to choose the winners.

    And to give you something back for voting, a lucky fan whose votes for the three categories match that of the judging panel will be picked at random to win hospitality tickets for a Clydesdale Bank Premier League team of their choice (subject to availability).

    Voting is open now and closes at 11am on Monday 31st January 2011.

    Log onto www.cbfootball.co.uk to cast your vote and play our Score Selector game. You can also win tickets for our upcoming fixtures, take part in the weekly quiz and keep up to date with all Clydesdale Bank’s football activities.