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    Youths crash to rampant Rangers

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    McCall aims for Celtic upset

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    Officials appointed for Celtic clash

  • Archive

    The height of frustration

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    Voting open for monthly awards

  • Archive

    McCall furious after Buddies defeat

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    St Mirren defeat in pictures

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    Motherwell 0 – 1 St Mirren

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    John Boyle steps down at Motherwell

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    Sutton aiming to net new deal

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    Youths crash to rampant Rangers

    Motherwell U19s were demolished 8-1 by Rangers at Murray Park this afternoon.

    Goals from Rhys McCabe, Andrew Mitchell and doubles for Dylan McGeouch, Kal Naismith and Kane Hemmings gave the home side all three points.

    ‘Well’s solitary goal came from Lee Erwin but it was a painful day at the office for the inexperienced Steelmen side who were roundly punished for any mistake during the ninety minutes.

    Full report to follow…

    Motherwell: Muir, Griffin, Murray (Lynch – 29mins), Sloan, McKinnon, Carswell, Halsman, Watt (Connor – 80mins), McDonald (McGachie – 74mins), Erwin, Howarth

  • Archive

    McCall aims for Celtic upset

    Stuart McCall thinks his team have to believe that they can beat Celtic on Sunday afternoon.

    Neil Lennon’s side have gone seventeen matches unbeaten, and have looked in sparkling form in recent performances against Rangers – but McCall insists that the Steelmen can give anyone a game at Fir Park.

    “You have got to try and give it a go and believe you’re going to get something out the game,” the manager said, positively. “There should be a real belief in our squad that we can harry, chase, put everything into the game and make it as difficult as we possibly can.

    “I shouldn`t have to motivate them for this. People outside the dressing room won’t expect us to get anything out of the game, but we do.

    “They (Celtic) have got the bit between their teeth and every player seems to be focused, they seem to have a good spirit about them. I know they had gone to Hamilton (after winning against Rangers at New Year) and only got a draw and that`s what we have got to believe.

    “I always feel if you`re playing home games against the Old Firm, you`ve got to go out and give it a go. We’ve got to show the endeavour and the urgency and the energy that we lacked on Wednesday night – we have to show that in abundance on Sunday.

    The Motherwell boss also played down the fact he would be up against Celtic in the televised encounter.
    The former Rangers defender was no stranger to masterminding wins over Celtic from the heart of Rangers’ midfield – now he must do it from the dugout.

    But he says that Celtic aren’t a special enemy.

    “Everyone is an enemy opposite Motherwell now,” he said.  “For me, we want to get over the disappointment of the last game. Bringing the league leaders here, being on TV and it will be a big crowd.
    “So the boys should be up for it and we have to put in a committed effort.”

    McCall’s confidence is admirable, especially in the face of deepening injury problems emanating from Wednesday’s defeat.

    Steve Jennings and Keith Lasley both took heavy knocks against the Buddies and, with Steve Jones and Stevie Saunders both out injured and Stephen Craigan suspended, this encounter with test the ‘Well squad to the limit.

    “We`ve still got another 48 hours but Jennings and Lasley are both touch and go,” the gaffer confessed.

    “Craigan is suspended and Jones and Saunders have not trained at all so there will be no possibility of them being available.

    “And we have one or two knocks. I thought it was going to be worse but we`re still going to be without three or four first-team regulars.”

  • Archive

    Officials appointed for Celtic clash

    Referee for Sunday’s Clydesdale Bank Premier League clash with Celtic will be Euan Norris.

    The 33-year-old will be handling his second Motherwell game of the current campaign having previously overseen the 0-0 draw with Inverness Caley last month.

    Previous to that, 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.

    Unsurprisingly, given his relative newness to the game, this will be Euan’s first ever Motherwell versus Celtic encounter.

    His overall record in charge of Motherwell is a good one. Motherwell have a unbeaten record in all four games, winning three and drawing one – conceding just one goal.

    Thankfully, FIFA referee Norris usually likes to keep his cards in his pocket with only six cautions handed out in those games, with only two to a ‘Well player (Bob Malcolm and Stephen Craigan). The red card shown to Liam Miller of Hibs was his only dismissal by the whistler in the SPL last campaign.

    Euan will be ably assisted by Keith Sorbie and Francis Andrews with Stephen Finnie on fourth official duties.

  • Archive

    The height of frustration

    I’ve taken the time to calm down first before emailing you to give my reaction on last night’s game. To say it was disappointing is probably an understatement. In fact, I told the press after the match that it is probably the worst I’ve felt since coming to the club; even worse than losing 6-0 to Rangers.
    That hasn’t subsided today I am afraid.
    I want the players to have some level of consistency but last night I didn’t feel the players applied themselves enough. St Mirren looked as if they were hungrier, like their lives depended on every tackle and I am so disappointed to say we weren’t.
    Whose responsibility is that? Well, everyone in the dressing room!
    I opted to change things slightly from our last two games. We knew, or at least, had a feeling that they would go three at the back so we felt that getting natural width would prove effective. However, we weren’t able to penetrate and as a result, it was a struggle.
    To be fair, we weren’t helped at all by the injury to Steve Jennings who got a nasty one on the ankle about five minutes into the game. We were planning to take him off five minutes after half-time but that was to prove impossible because Keith Lasley took another hit on the ribs and he had to come off.
    We’ve had absolutely no luck with injuries; I can only hope that subsides as we move towards the end of the season.
    But, that game is gone now. We can’t change it but we can learn lessons. We now face possibly the toughest test the SPL has to offer when Celtic visit Fir Park. With Saunders and Jones touch and go, Jennings and Lasley struggling and Stephen Craigan suspended, there’s no doubt it’s going to be a big ask.
    But all throughout my career I’ve seen instances like this where an opportunity for a younger player comes up and they take it and that’s what we’ll need on Sunday. We’ll need our big players to play and who knows. Celtic are on a fantastic run, they’ve got an excellent team but it’s ninety minutes and we’ll be going all out to win the game.
    Just finally, I would like to pay tribute to our outgoing Chairman, John Boyle. I’ve only recently got to know John but his passion and drive for Motherwell Football Club was clear. He will be leaving the club on a sound footing and I am sure both Derek Weir and Leeann Dempster and the other members of the board will use this positive step to take the club forward.
    Thanks for all your support and hopefully we can turn in a positive performance and result for you all this Sunday.
    All the best,
    Stuart McCall

  • Archive

    Voting open for monthly awards

    It’s time for you to decide who you think deserves to win the Clydesdale Bank SPL Manager, Player & Young Player of the Month for February.

    Has someone in our team shown some skill worthy of reward? Or has our manager suitably impressed you with our team’s performances over the month?  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 28th February 2011.

    Log onto www.cbfootball.co.uk to cast your vote and play the new and improved 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.

  • Archive

    McCall furious after Buddies defeat

    Stuart McCall labelled his side’s performance as ‘unacceptable’ after watching Motherwell go down 1-0 to an energetic St Mirren side.

    Lennon’s troops looked the sharper of the two teams – although the game was a fairly ordinary affair – and the visitors grabbed the all-important opener in the final ten minutes.

    The ‘Well gaffer was at a loss to explain his team’s performance after two consecutive wins.

    “We got what we deserved – absolutely nothing,” the former Bradford boss proclaimed. “You could tell they were fighting for their lives, and they were the hungrier side. We played like it was an end-of-season game, I’m not sure why.

    “It wasn’t acceptable and they’ve let themselves and the fans down. Football is all about consistency and we have let ourselves down badly. We weren’t good enough.

    “I’ve told the boys – the result tonight hurts me more than the Rangers result did, because we didn’t seem to grasp that a positive result could have cemented us in to fourth place in the league. We’ve been outrun and outfought.”

    Despite a lacklustre performance, Motherwell could have, perhaps, nicked a result if referee Steve Conroy had looked upon a couple of penalty claims a little more favourably.

    Keith Lasley looked to be felled in the first half as he surged into the box, while Francis Jeffers appeared to be tripped inside the area in the second period.

    But the ‘Well boss isn’t looking for excuses – despite the winning goal also carrying an air of fortune.

    “People might say we had a shout for a penalty – listen, we didn’t deserve anything. We got the result that we deserved – we just need to bounce back on Sunday.

    “The goal was a good strike by Higdon, but it’s hit something on the pitch and bounced over the keeper.”

    Attention now turns to Sunday, and the visit of Celtic, who are in ominously good form at the moment.

    McCall acknowledges that a massive improvement on the St Mirren performance will be required to gain a result against Neil Lennon’s side – but thinks that the team might benefit from a lack of expectations.

    “I look ahead to that game and nobody will expect us to get a result, and hopefully that is when we will be at our most dangerous,” the 46-year old insisted. “We’ll be going in as massive underdogs but I know the lads will give it their all.

    “We’ve not become a bad side overnight, and I hope the lads can bounce back against Celtic.”

  • Archive

    St Mirren defeat in pictures

    Pictures from the 1-0 defeat by St Mirren in the Clydesdale Bank Premier League at Fir Park.

    These action shots and more are available to buy online at www.motherwellpics.com.

    [svgallery name=”stmirren23022011″]

  • Archive

    Motherwell 0 – 1 St Mirren

    [tab:Match report]

    A late Michael Higdon strike saw St. Mirren emerge from a turgid contest with a vital three points in their fight against relegation.

    But that will be no concern to Motherwell, who struggled throughout, and whose best chances came in the form of two strong penalty claims which were turned down by Steve Conroy.

    In the end Higdon’s goal settled things for the Saints who were rewarded for a busy and determined performance.

    Danny Lennon’s side arrived at Fir Park knowing a win would take them a massive eight points above bottom-placed Hamilton – but, conversely, on the back of a run of nine SPL games without a win.

    ‘Well made one change from the side which battled to a victory over the Accies at the weekend, with Ross Forbes dropping out to be replaced by Chris Humphrey.

    Stuart McCall had previously suggested that the three games following the defeat at Ibrox would be ‘season defining’ – and the Steelmen came into the third match of the series with two excellent wins already under their belts.

    A timid opening was enlivened by a surging Tom Hateley run and superb cross, which was just cleared by the Saints’ defence – with claret and amber jerseys ready to pounce. The resulting corner caused all sorts of problems in the Buddies’ area, but they managed to smuggle clear.

    It took until the twenty-minute mark for another move of note to take place, with Paul McGowan firing a low drive from just inside the box. But it was comfortably fielded by big Darren Randolph.

    A low-key first half burst alive with controversy five minutes later. After a neat exchange of passes inside the box, Keith Lasley shimmied towards goal. After neatly sidestepping one challenge he appeared to be brought down by Saints captain John Potter – but Steve Conroy waved play on.

    That Motherwell penalty claim was followed by a decent free-kick from Tom Hateley – which forced a sharp sprawling save from Paul Gallacher. A header over the bar, moments later, from John Sutton illustrated Motherwell’s push for the opener.

    Both sides exchanged chances as the game progressed towards half time. A Steven Thomson drive was deflected towards goal via the head of Shaun Hutchison, forcing Darren Randolph to make a plunging save. And that was immediately followed by a trundling low shot from Jamie Murphy, which drifted harmlessly wide.

    Despite a couple of decent ‘Well chances over the course of the first period, the visitors finished the half in the ascendancy, and could have gone in at the break ahead, but Craig Dargo headed into the arms of Darren Randolph from six yards out.

    Lennon’s troops continued to make the running in the early stages of the second half, with Dargo coming close twice in the space of five minutes, once from a close-range header and the other from a powerful shot – which narrowly flew past the ‘Well near post.

    With St. Mirren looking sharp and lively, Motherwell needed a response, and Tom Hateley almost provided it. The Monaco-born full-back delivered a superb free-kick from the corner of the box, forcing Paul Gallacher to parry wide.

    Fir Park was up in arms again as Conroy, once more, denied Motherwell a decent shout for a penalty, as Francis Jeffers appeared to be clipped in the box by McAusland. The former Queen of the South man, on first viewing, looked lucky to escape.

    The Steelmen may rue penalty claims which were denied, and they paid the price when Michael Higdon opened the scoring.

    The big English substitute was slipped through on goal with a scything pass, and he dispatched a low drive past Darren Randolph, off the inside of the post. The finish was undoubtedly aided by a cruel bobble which saw the shot loop over the keeper’s outstretched palm.

    The home side finally injected some pace into their game in the closing stages, but by that point it was too late, and not even late efforts from John Sutton and Esteban Casagolda could salvage a point from a disappointing evening in North Lanarkshire.

    [tab:As it happened]

    Graham Barnstaple at Fir Park

    Full time – Saints win by a goal to nil, and sadly I don’t think we can complain too much, they created most of the good chances in the game

    90mins – Only two minutes being added on! Strange!

    83mins – Lost twitter again there…..over capacity (whatever that means). Sadly with only two minutes to go we are a goal down, Higdon scoring in the 82nd minute. Horrible bobble over Randolph.

    71mins – The crowd just been announced as 3613

    64mins – Jeffers goes down in the box. That looked like a penalty to me!

    59mins – Just about an hour gone, and sadly it is 60 minutes those of us here won’t get back!!

    55mins – The change sees Hammell at left back, Gunning moves to right back and Hateley into midfield, think I’ve got it all!!

    54mins – Another dipping free kick from Hateley beaten out by Gallagher, that’s been our only threat

    53mins – Lasley forced to leave field with an injury, looks like his ribs, replaced by Steven Hammell

    48mins – Yellow card for Lasley for a tug on Hugh Murray, that his seventh of the season

    46mins – Sorry – lost the signal over half time there!! We are back and so are the teams, with three minutes played already

    45mins – 1 minute being added on (unfortunately)

    41mins – another chance for Saints but Dargo’s close range header is easily held by Randolph who is well positioned

    35mins – Thomson’s shot deflected by head of Hutchinson Randolph pulls off a diving save to his right, comfortable enough.

    31mins – In-swinging Hateley free kick punched away at his front post by Gallagher, and then Sutton heads a cross just over

    26mins – Lasley barged over in the Saints box this time but once again no pen given by ref Conroy, possibly obstruction but a certain foul none-the-less

    22mins – Paul McGowan finds space in the Well box but shoots straight at Randolph who saves easily

    16mins – Dargo tumbles under the challenge of Jennings but penalty claims are waved away – looked a decent shout to me – dodged a bullet?

    10mins – not much happening, we’ve forced a couple of corners but without causing any real danger. Ball has been changed once as well!!

    1mins – We lose the toss, we kick off and we are shooting towards the preferred South Stand end which is empty tonight, Saints fans in POD Stand


    Motherwell manager Stuart McCall:

    “They (St Mirren) came and showed the hunger and desire, you could see they were fighting for their lives and we just never matched that.

    “And that’s the worst thing that can be put at the team. I don’t know if we’re thinking that we’re better than we are but they certainly were first to the ball, won more tackles and just showed a greater enthusiasm and that’s not acceptable,” said McCall.

    “It was more like an end-of-season game from us, the way we approached the first half. It wasn’t acceptable.

    “The second half was a little better but not a great deal to be honest.

    St Mirren manager Danny Lennon:

    “It’s a very welcome three points at the end of the evening. We got a great response from Sunday (the defeat to Hibernian).

    “The way they come to work in the morning, their attitude is first class.

    “They deserved that, it’s been well overdue, for the efforts that the boys put in. The mentality of the boys tonight was second to none.”


    [poll id=”40″]

  • Archive

    John Boyle steps down at Motherwell

    At this evening’s Annual General Meeting (AGM), owner John Boyle issued the following statement.

    It is 13 years since I acquired Motherwell FC, my hometown club.  There have been famous times and difficult times, but this club has remained a special part of my life as a supporter as well as its owner.

    During those 13 years, I have supported the many loss-making years and ensured Motherwell’s survival in some tricky, parlous times. I have seen that as my duty because I have been conscious of two things in the years since I acquired the club in 1998:

    • That I am merely a custodian of a club that this year is 125 years old. This club was here long before I was born and it must be here long after I have gone; and
    • Motherwell is a community club and, whatever the business documents and share certificates say, the club really belongs to the community and its fans. It always has and always will.

    I have decided to stand down as Chairman before the start of next season.  I will pass on control of the club to current directors who are working with me now on an ambitious new plan to allow wider ownership and involvement in the club for all who care about it.

    Since the new directors Jim McMahon, Derek Weir, Leeann Dempster and Andrew Wilson have been appointed over the last year or so, working with John Swinburne and Bill Dickie, it has been their intention to make the club less dependent on myself and I fully encourage these efforts.

    To this end, I will not ask for any payment to me or to my family for our shares in the club.  It is time for us to hand over the baton.  We have enjoyed our years as part of Motherwell’s distinguished history.  Now, we look forward to following the club’s progress with new owners, new ideas and, hopefully, new success as it celebrates its 125th anniversary and moves into the future.”

    Derek Weir, Motherwell Vice Chairman commented, ‘It has always been the Board’s intention that the club should not remain dependent solely on John Boyle’s goodwill and that the club should have a wider ownership and stronger financial basis.

    “John’s generosity in requiring no payment for his shares will enable us to realise these objectives and the Board will be issuing full details of this transition in the next few weeks.

    “No Motherwell supporter has ever been in any doubt about the passion and support John has brought to our club. During his ownership he has spent a total of £10 million supporting the club, and made frequent injections of cash from his personal funds.

    “We are very lucky to have had a person of his integrity, intellect and talent at the helm of our club for so long.  He will be missed but we will make sure, when the baton is passed, it is to a club that has strong, sustainable foundations.”

    If anyone is interesting in working alongside the club in its exciting new plans, then please contact Leeann Dempster on 01698 333333 or email leeann.dempster@motherwellfc.co.uk.

  • Archive

    Sutton aiming to net new deal

    John Sutton wants to help Motherwell make history – and then stick around to be a part of it.

    Recent wins against Aberdeen and Hamilton have propelled the Steelmen back into the top half of the SPL, a position from which Sutton believes ‘Well could challenge for a European spot once more.

    It would be an incredible fourth consecutive continental campaign for the club, and a new contract would see John Sutton be a part of it.

    “We’ve responded really well from the defeat to Rangers, and after a couple of wins we are now looking above ourselves – and a win against St. Mirren will take us into fourth place,” the striker noted.

    “The top six has always been our goal. If we can do that then you get to play the teams around you – and there is a great chance to get back into Europe.

    “It would surely be unprecedented for Motherwell to qualify for Europe so regularly.”

    The air of positivity undoubtedly stems from the recent two wins, some nice flowing football and the impact of new signing Francis Jeffers.

    Naturally, as a striker, Sutton is delighted to have the former Arsenal striker at the club alongside him – and to be a part of McCall’s attacking mentality.

    The ‘Well front-man continued: “Franny has been great since signing. From the first training session you could see that his movement is very good and I think we link up pretty well.

    “Hopefully the longer we play together, the more that will develop. We now have a bit of depth too, with Jamie Murphy playing behind the strikers. We also have Esteban looking sharp and Bob McHugh coming back from injury.

    “Everything is looking up for the club.”

    Like Jeffers, Sutton’s contract runs out in the summer and the 27-year old is keen to get the ball rolling on a new deal.

    He added, “My contract runs out in the summer, so I’ll be looking to get something sorted; I love it here,” the bustling forward confessed. “It’s one of those things you hope will sort itself if you can keep playing well and scoring goals.

    “But – with injuries and having a family – it is something that is in the back of your mind. I love it here.”