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    Be a part of the Phil O’Donnell Dinner

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    A funny old game!

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    McCall delighted with Celtic win

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    Celtic win in pictures

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    Motherwell 2 – 0 Celtic

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    Celtic tickets sold out

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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

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    The height of frustration

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    Be a part of the Phil O’Donnell Dinner

    This summer, twelve men will spend ten days trekking Mount Cotopaxi in Ecuador.

    They will endure intense training and stamina-sapping challenges as they try to raise £100,000 for The British Heart Foundation.

    Undertaking this extraordinary expedition are Phil’s friends and former teammates Simon Donnelly, Jackie McNamara, Darren Jackson, Kenny Crichton, Alan Archibald, Willie Kinniburgh, Greg Anderson, Ross Anderson, Craig Hinchcliffe, David Rowson, Jim Paterson and Bill Leckie.

    To help raise this target, we need your support and hope you can join us on Sunday 13th March for a fantastic dinner/dance in the stunning Ballroom at Glasgow’s Thistle Hotel. A drinks reception will be followed by a mouth-watering three course meal. The Scottish

    The Sun’s Bill Leckie, compère for the night, will introduce renowned speaker John Gahagan and the musical talents of Second Hand Elastic Band.

    Phil O’Donnell tragically passed away on 29th December 2007 during a football match while playing for Motherwell FC. A post mortem examination later revealed that he died from left ventricular failure. Phil was only 35 and left behind a wife and four children. The nature of Phil’s death is the reason why the British Heart Foundation has been selected as the beneficiary charity.

    Please join us for a fantastic evening, celebrating the life of the man affectionately known as ‘Uncle Phil’.

    Tickets are £75 and tables of ten are £700. To book, contact Laura on 0141 533 7537 or laura@lftevents.com.

    Alternatively, you can show your support by texting a £3 donation.

    Text ‘Phil’ to 70007

    Text messages cost £3 plus one message at your standard network rate. From most users the British Heart Foundation will receive over £2.80 from each text donation received dependant on your network operator. **Donations from handsets registered in UK and Northern Ireland only.

  • Archive

    A funny old game!

    Football’s a funny old game isn’t it? I hope you are enjoying your night and I hope the team and the club have made you proud. You certainly deserve it!
    There are two main things I want to get across and they are both very important to me.
    1 – That win today was for Motherwell FC and absolutely no-one else. I was asked at the Press Conference, after the game, about whether Walter Smith or Ally McCoist would give me a text of thanks. Whilst obviously joking about getting a little more – a beer or two perhaps (?), I made the very serious point about the value of this win to our club. I am a former Rangers player and will, inevitably, be asked questions relating to Rangers by the press. I do my best to avoid them but I suppose it’s what happens. It’s what the media in this country do. But I really want to get across to everyone now that I am the manager of Motherwell Football Club and my only focus is to this club. It wouldn’t have mattered if we were playing Rangers, Hamilton, St Mirren or Stranraer today; I wanted to see a reaction from my players after the disappointment of Wednesday night and I got it. That’s what is most pleasing! That and giving the fans at Fir Park something to shout about.
    2 – The other thing that has come out of today is the need for consistency. What happened this afternoon was brilliant and we, along with you the fans, will all enjoy the win but I am already planning for our match with Inverness. We’ll be in first thing tomorrow morning and our total focus will be next Saturday’s game in the Highlands. We need to show a better level consistency! We’ve only lost two goals at home since I arrived at the club (to Kilmarnock and St Mirren), unfortunately, both cost us at least a point. These are the games that we need to work doubly hard to win as these are the games that will win us a place in the top six. We have Inverness and Kilmarnock away in March as well as Aberdeen and Dundee Utd at home before the split. In many ways, it’s in our hands. Take positive points from those games and we’re in with a real shout. Easier said than done, of course, but we’ll be working as hard as we possibly can all week with that game in mind.
    I won’t go over today too much other than to say I though, to a man, we were absolutely terrific and displayed a real gutsy and determined display. I said during the week that St Mirren out-fought us and I was incredibly disappointed about that; and I let the players know it. Today, I thought we out-battled Celtic and it proved crucial.
    Just finally, a big congratulations to Darren Randolph who I know believe has surpassed John Ruddy’s record of fifteen clean sheets by notching his sixteenth today. He was outstanding and deserves all the credit for beating an already incredible tally.
    Forever Claret and Amber!
    Stuart McCall

  • Archive

    McCall delighted with Celtic win

    Stuart McCall described his pride after witnessing Motherwell’s best performance under his leadership, with a 2-0 victory over Celtic at Fir Park.

    ‘Well were the better side throughout an engaging contest, and could have actually won by more than the two-goal margin against a high-flying Celtic side.

    A display of energy, desire and purpose was a million miles away from the poor display against St Mirren in midweek, and John Sutton’s brace ensured the men in claret and amber came away with all three points.

    “I’ve come off the park and people are saying ‘well done’ to me. It’s nothing to do with me – it’s all the players,” McCall profusely praised.

    “I thought from every one of our players it was superb. I asked them at half time to keep up the endeavour and keep up the work rate, and every single one of them did that. They were outstanding and I’m a very proud manager.

    “It’s the best result I’ve had, definitely. Probably the best performance too – if you look at the side we’re up against and their record it is a great achievement.”

    It is a result which takes Motherwell to within two points of fourth-placed Kilmarnock, with games against all of their nearest challengers coming up in subsequent weeks.

    Therefore it is no surprise that, for the ‘Well gaffer, there’s no time for basking in the glory of today’s victory, with a place in the top six to be fought for.

    “I’ve told the players to have a good night but my focus, straight away, goes to Inverness next Saturday,” the 46-year old insisted.

    “Every manager looks for consistency and that is what I’m aiming for. There are still four other sides who will want to get fourth spot.

    “We have Kilmarnock and Inverness coming up in a few weeks and then Dundee United and Aberdeen at home – so it’s still all to play for, but that result can give us hope and inspiration for the future.”

    McCall was reluctant to single anyone out for special praise, but he did take a moment to acknowledge the performances of a trio of his star performers.

    John Sutton was heroic as he ploughed a lone furrow up front, showing typical drive and determination against the Celtic backline. He was rewarded with two expertly-taken goals to take his tally for the season up to 13.

    While the walking-wounded of Steve Jennings and, particularly, the superb Keith Lasley also caught the eye in a splendid all-round team performance by the home side.

    “I wish someone else had taken the penalty – Sutty’s agent will be looking for an extra £50 in the contract now,” the gaffer joked.

    “I’m pleased for every one of them tonight. A lot of players out there deserved ten out of ten but the captain Lasley could hardly breathe with his ribs’ injury and Jennings were both major doubts, but they played brilliantly.

    “But there were lots of heroes out there.”

  • Archive

    Celtic win in pictures

    Pictures from the 2-0 win over Celtic 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=”celtic270211″]

  • Archive

    Motherwell 2 – 0 Celtic

    [tab:Match report]

    Motherwell turned in a sensational display to defeat league leaders Celtic at Fir Park on Sunday afternoon.

    It brings Celtic’s 17-match unbeaten run to an abrupt halt, and catapults the Steelmen to within two points of fourth-placed Kilmarnock in the SPL.

    McCall’s side were ahead within two minutes, as John Sutton strong-armed Charlie Mulgrew and clipped the pall past Fraser Forster before rolling into an empty net.

    Celtic had plenty of possession but struggled to open up Motherwell’s make-shift backline and, in truth ‘Well had the better of the chances, with Keith Lasley and Chris Humphrey particularly prominent in an excellent all-round team display.

    ‘Well deservedly doubled their lead from the penalty spot early in the second half after the superb Lasley was clipped in the box. Sutton stepped up to smash the ball home and bag himself a brace.

    Darren Randolph deserves plenty of credit too, as whenever Celtic did manage to create an opportunity they found Randolph in simply imperious form.

    Motherwell made two changes to the side which were defeated 1-0 in midweek by St. Mirren, with Ross Forbes replacing Francis Jeffers and Steven Hammell coming in for the suspended Stephen Craigan, facilitating a move to centre-back for Gavin Gunning.

    Celtic replaced the suspended Beram Kayal with Song-Yeung Ki and brought in Anthony Stokes for Samaras, as Lennon’s side looked to maintain their mesmerizing momentum from recent weeks.

    The Parkhead side were coming into this clash on the back of 17 matches unbeaten, but it was Motherwell who flew out of the box with a blistering start at Fir Park.

    Within 45 seconds of kick-off the Steelmen signaled their intent, with Chris Humphrey chasing down a lofted Tom Hateley pass, nipping past a toiling Mulgrew, and having his low cross blocked at the near post.

    And just a minute later McCall’s men got their reward for an irrepressible opening period, and once again the chance was aided by indecisive defending by Charlie Mulgrew.

    The former Aberdeen defender, so impressive against Rangers, failed to deal with a hopeful looping pass, allowing John Sutton to bustle in front of him and round Fraser Forster before slotting in to an empty net.

    Naturally the table-toppers responded by throwing bodies forward in search of an immediate equaliser. Mark Wilson headed over from six yards, after getting on the end of a whipped Kris Commons delivery, in what amounted to the best attempt from the visitors in the early stages.

    Indeed, it is worth praising the way a young central defensive partnership, Gunning and Hutchinson, dealt with the threat of Stokes and Hooper. While a re-jigged midfield five were tenacious and energetic during frenetic opening exchanges.

    As the half-hour mark approached Neil Lennon’s men visibly tried to turn the screw on the home side. After a lucky bounce inside the box, Anthony Stokes should have made the score 1-1, but his tame low effort was saved by Randolph.

    And Randolph made another, even better, save moments later, as he parried a superb low shot by Scott Brown wide of the post. The shot, fired in from 25 yards, looked goal-bound all the way and it was a magnificent stop from the former Charlton keeper.

    After negotiating the first truly concerted spell of pressure from Celtic, the Steelmen almost extended their lead. A superb triangle of passing on the left flank between Murphy, Lasley and Hammell released the left-back, and John Sutton was a matter of inches away from getting on the end of Hammell’s delivery.

    Motherwell managed to retain their hard-fought lead through to half-time thanks to a clearance off the line, and Anthony Stokes fired in a dangerous cross-cum-shot.

    McCall’s men may have been hanging on a little towards the end of the first half, but the emerged in sensational fashion for the second half. They were almost 2-0 up when Shaun Hutchinson rose highest to crass a header against the underside of the bar from a Ross Forbes corner.

    And Motherwell did get their second goal just moments later after Keith Lasley was tripped in the box by Emilio Izaguirre. John Sutton stepped up to take the kick and lashed his effort straight down the middle to give Forster no chance and double the Steelmen’s lead.

    John Sutton was threatening to run away with the headlines from this encounter, but Darren Randolph was also putting down a serious marker for man of the match. The Irish keeper had to be at his best again ten minutes into the second half to turn away a dangerous low Commons free-kick – bringing his tally of top saves to three for the afternoon.

    The visitors threw on Juarez, Samaras and Forrest as they desperately chased a way back into the game, but Motherwell’s energy levels and organisation were prodigious and, approaching the closing stages, Lennon’s side had yet to really carve open ‘Well’s youthful backline.

    A curling effort from Kris Commons proved to be the closest Celtic would come to a riposte as the Glasgow giants visibly ran out of ideas as the match progressed – but that was, again, palmed away brilliantly by Darren Randolph.

    [tab:As it happened]

    Graham Barnstaple at Fir Park

    Full Time: Motherwell (Sutton [2]) 2 – 0 Celtic. Motherwell were simply magnificent this afternoon & deservedly beat the form team in Scotland!!!

    87mins: Motherwells defence have been unbreachable this afternoon, and there’s only minutes to go!! Well 2 – 0 Celtic.

    75mins: Jamie Pollock replaces the tenacious Ross Forbes.

    72mins: Champagne football from ‘Well, Hammell passes to Forbes, who dinks over to Hammell, back into Murph – but shot blocked by Sutton!!

    66mins: Young James Forrest on for Ki for Celtic now, While ‘Well still have original XI out there. Hope the energy holds up!

    62mins: Something of a lull in the play – which suits Motherwell just fine. Young CB’s have dealt win new Samaras threat just fine. 2-0 Well

    54mins: ANOTHER great save from Randolph. He deserves plaudits from today too, as he turns away a dangerous Commons free-kick.

    53mins: Celtic have brought on Samaras and Juarez as they chase a way into this game – but so far Motherwell have been simply brilliant.

    49mins: Lasley was tripped in the box. Looked a penalty from up here. Expertly blasted home by Sutton – straight down the middle.

    49mins: Sutton steps up………..AND SCOOOOORES 2-0 MOTHERWELL!!!

    48mins: PENALTTTY MOTHERWELL, moments after Hutch hits bar…………

    46mins: We’re under way again at Fir Park. Great first half from the lads. More of the same will do fine. Well 1 – 0 Celtic.

    Half Time: Motherwell (Sutton ‘2) 1 – 0 Celtic

    45mins: Looping cross to the back post comes to Stokes and his cross-cum-shot is cleared of the line. Hairy stuff here. Still 1-0 Well.

    44mins: Shot wide of the post by Celtic, harmless enough. Hopefully that’s the last of the action before half time!

    39mins: Anthony Stokes swivels and fires over the bar as Celtic push for an equaliser before half time. Still 1-0 Well.
    35mins: Sutton inches away from getting on the end of a Hammell cross after some superb build-up play. Well 1 – 0 Celtic.

    34mins: After expending a massive amount of energy on a heavy pitch in the first half, the game is slowing a little. Well still lead though

    27mins: Having said that, Randolph has to pull of two wonderful saves, firstly from a low Stokes shot then a Brown effort from distance.

    25mins: Celtic have had a lot of the ball and territory, but Motherwell have created the better openings thus far and deservedly lead 1-0..

    24mins: Great run by Murphy and his cross narrowly evades Sutton, before Humphrey fires wide at the back post. Well 1-0 Celtic

    19mins: Sutton is flagged for offside as he hares through on goal, rounds the keeper, and slots in. Looked tight, but can’t tell up here.

    15mins: Worth pointing out how resolutely a young CB pairing Gunning & Hutch have done. Long way to go, but great start vs Hooper & Stokes

    7mins: As you would imagine, Celtic now piling on pressure, and Mark Wilson heads narrowly over from a Commons delivery. Well 1-0 Celtic.

    2mins: Big John chases down a through ball, Mulgrew hesitates, and Sutton nips in to round Forster and make it 1-0!!!


    1min: We’re underway, and already Humphrey has had a bustling shot which was narrowly blocked by the Celtic defence. Promising.


    Motherwell manager Stuart McCall:

    “I thought from every one of our players it was superb. I asked them at half time to keep up the endeavour and keep up the work rate, and every single one of them did that. They were outstanding and I’m a very proud manager.

    “It’s the best result I’ve had, definitely. Probably the best performance too – if you look at the side we’re up against and their record it is a great achievement. I’ve told the players to have a good night but my focus, straight away, goes to Inverness next Saturday.” The 46-year old insisted.

    “Every manager looks for consistency and that is what I’m aiming for. There are still four other sides who will want to get fourth spot.

    “We have Kilmarnock and Inverness coming up in a few weeks and then Dundee United and Aberdeen at home – so it’s still all to play for, but that result can give us hope and inspiration for the future.”

    Celtic manager Neil Lennon:

    “They have had a lot of nice things said about them this week and maybe they were believing in their own publicity. By our performance, maybe we underestimated them. I didn’t sense that in the week but there was a lack of competitiveness about us and quality, we did the opposite to what we have been doing the last couple of months and to be fair to them they have been excellent so I won’t be over critical.

    “But it was poor. We were poor defensively, poor in midfield and poor going forward. There was nothing positive to take from the game.

    “There was no collectiveness about us, we were disjointed and the goals we lost were appalling. You can’t give any team cheap goals and expect to win games.

    “You can make up excuses for the pitch but it was the same for both sides. We didn’t adapt to the conditions and we were second best. It’s not a criticism I can level at the players very often but Motherwell were hungrier.

    “Any time we have had a poor performances we have bounced back pretty well and I am looking for a reaction now in the next nine, 10 games.”


    [poll id=”41″]

  • Archive

    Celtic tickets sold out

    Visiting supporters should note that all away tickets for this afternoon’s game are now sold out.

    The last of Celtic’s 6,000 allocation was sold this morning. Fans without tickets are encouraged not to travel to Fir Park.

    Any away fan who attempts to enter a home area of the ground (Davie Cooper Stand / East Stand) will be ejected immediately.

  • Archive

    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