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    Lasley looking to emulate heroes

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    McCall praying for Semi Final spot

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    U19s game off

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    Kirk calls for spirit of ‘91

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    Jones back in contention

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    Quarter Final Super Sunday

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    Dundee Utd Tickets & Travel

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    Late double sinks Caley

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    Officials appointed for Cup clash

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    ‘Well kick off Scotland’s Census 2011

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    Lasley looking to emulate heroes

    Keith Lasley is hoping to take the first step to becoming a Motherwell legend with a victory over old foes Dundee Utd at Tannadice on Sunday.

    The encounter is a repeat of the famous cup final of 20 years ago, last time the men in claret and amber lifted the World’s oldest national trophy – a fact which won’t be lost on the Steelmen fans travelling to Tayside.

    Lasley, a Motherwell stalwart of over ten years, knows better than most the symbolism of a cup tie against Dundee United and he is desperate to emulate the heroes of 1991 against the in-form Arabs.

    “The cup is special at this club, especially when you come up against Dundee United,” the 31-year old confirmed. “There are still a few people who played that day in ‘91 and a lot of people who were involved in some capacity.

    “So you still hear about that game and everybody remembers the way it went – and being at this club for so long I know that is what we have to aim for.

    “Rangers and Celtic tend to dominate domestic competitions and it’s usually one of them who lifts the cup, but Dundee United changed that last year and if you get to this stage then you’ve got a chance.

    “We’ve got a very difficult tie – it could hardly have been tougher than trying to beat Dundee United away as they are in a great vein of form.”

    The Steelmen have already had the opportunity to strut their stuff at Hampden this season, with the narrow  defeat to Rangers in the Co-operative Insurance Cup and Lasley, even as one of the more experienced heads in a youthful ‘Well lineup, is excited about the prospect of another visit to the national stadium – describing the prospect as ‘a dream’.

    The former Plymouth man continued: “First and foremost, from a player’s point of view, getting into another semi-final is a great chance.

    “We’ve had a taste this season with the League Cup semi and we’re desperate to get back there in the Scottish Cup. Looking at Hampden, there’s nothing better, and all the players – although we lost in the end – thoroughly enjoyed the experience last time out.

    “The build up to the game was very special as playing in semi-finals and finals is what you dream about and, for a club like Motherwell who don’t get there too often, hopefully this year could be the year for us.”

    Lasley, who scored the equalising goal against Rangers in Motherwell’s last visit to Hampden in January, can perhaps attribute a little of his enthusiasm to the fact he is creeping back towards full fitness.

    He has been bravely playing through the pain barrier recently, with the help of painkillers – but his bruised ribs are now beginning to heal…permitting any ‘dunts’ at Tannadice.

    “I’m feeling a bit better this last week, I’m starting to settle down a bit now – though I’m still taking the odd painkiller before matches.” he confirmed. “Hopefully in the next couple of weeks I’ll have forgotten all about it [the bruised ribs].”

    “You feel it if you get another wee dunt on it or if there’s some contact then you start to feel it. But it’s a lot better than it was. When you’ve got an injury it sometimes seems like you seem to get a few hits on it but, as I say, it’s miles better than it was.”

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    McCall praying for Semi Final spot

    Stuart McCall is desperate for a victory over Dundee United to pave the way for a return to Hampden.

    The Steelmen performed admirably on their last trip to the national stadium, narrowly losing out to Rangers in the Co-operative Insurance Cup semi-final, and the ‘Well gaffer wants a second crack at glory – this time in the Scottish Cup.

    “The lads have done terrifically in the cup competitions,” McCall praised. “At the start of the season they did really well in the European games and we also got through to the semi-finals of the League Cup, knocking Dundee United out along the way, and now we’re in the quarter-finals of the Scottish Cup.

    “The boys have responded really well to cup competitions and hopefully we’ll have a couple more still to play this season.”

    Despite the glamour of a potential national semi-final, McCall is looking no further than a tough trip to Tannadice at the weekend.

    Peter Houston’s side have been in fantastic form recently, racking up three consecutive wins, and have benefitted from the return of key players like Craig Conway and Danny Swanson. The Arabs are guaranteed to be a huge obstacle for ‘Well.

    The gaffer continued: “It’s a huge match. If we were to win on Sunday and get to the semi-final then it would be bigger than beating Celtic for me. What it means to the club and the fans to get to another semi-final is fantastic.

    “We know it’s a tough job, outwith the Old Firm it is probably the most difficult tie we could have been given. Away at Tannadice – especially with them getting their players back and having three successes – is a hard game.

    “But I believe that if we can perform like we have done in some games this season, and are at our best, then I think it could be a great cup tie.”

    The three-time Scottish Cup winner has been candid about his disappointment over ‘Well’s lack of consistently recently, but he insists that the club are ready to bounce back from last weekend’s disappointing defeat to Inverness Caledonian Thistle.

    “The players are in confident form, they’ve trained really well this week and everyone is desperate to be involved.” the 46-year old said.  “You look back at it [defeat against ICT] and we’ve looked at the goals and the parts of the game that we’re disappointed with.

    “The biggest disappointment is that we could have killed Inverness off if we had won that game – we would have put some daylight between us and them.

    “We’ve looked at some things and analysed certain things and our focus is now on Tannadice on Sunday and I’m sure we’ll get a better response than we did last Saturday.”

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    U19s game off

    Today’s scheduled Under 19s clash with St Johnstone in Perth has been postponed.

    Overnight snow and freezing temperatures has left the Tulloch Park pitch unplayable.

    No date has, as yet, been confirmed for the rearranged fixture.

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    Kirk calls for spirit of ‘91

    Motherwell legend Stevie Kirk has urged the current ‘Well side to call on the spirit of the ‘91 heroes when they face Dundee Utd on Sunday.

    Super sub Kirk, who netted the winning goal in that sensational final twenty years ago, was in Glasgow today with old foe Darren Jackson to preview the Quarter Final clash at Tannadice.

    And reminiscing back to that special day in May, Kirk admits the sights and sounds of Hampden will never leave him.

    He said, “The memories of that day are still etched, very clearly, in my mind.

    “It was a great day and a great achievement for Motherwell to get to the final that year and what a game it was. We looked as if we were going to win it in normal time until Darren Jackson popped up late in the game to equalise and, to be honest, I thought the tie was slipping away from us.

    “It was obviously disappointing but we managed to come through in the end and, over the piece, I think we just about deserved to win what was a fantastic end to end game.

    “You’ll struggle to find a better cup final since and it is something Motherwell fans still remember fondly and are very proud of, even twenty years on. I know the scenes that day will be with me for the rest of my life.”

    Kirk is back working full-time at Fir Park as the driving force behind the re-launched Motherwell in the Community department.

    In his role, he is a regular face about the ground and he is well aware of just what a win would mean to everyone connected with the club.

    The legend also gave his backing to Stuart McCall, predicting the former Scotland International to achieve great things whilst in North Lanarkshire.

    “Just about every team left in the competition has a great chance of at least getting to the final,” he said.

    “I am sure both Motherwell and Dundee Utd face a battle this Sunday but whoever wins has a great chance. Celtic are the strongest side left in the competition but even they face a very tricky tie up at Inverness.

    “If the team could manage to get to the final this year, I don’t think you could underestimate the size of the achievement, especially with the amount of upheaval with the previous manager leaving midway through the season.

    “Stuart McCall is doing a great job just now in what is a difficult situation. I see him on a daily basis and he’s doing very well. The players like him; they trust him and he has got the firm backing of all the staff at the club too. I would be absolutely delighted for him if he could lead Motherwell to Hampden for a second time this season.”

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    Jones back in contention

    On-loan Walsall winger Steve Jones returned to training today after a month on the sidelines vowing to win back his place in the first-team.

    The 34-year-old tweaked a hamstring against Rangers back in February, stalling what looked like a promising start to his Motherwell career.

    However, after coming through a tough session at Dalziel Park today, Jones has one eye on this Sunday’s Scottish Cup Quarter Final at Tannadice.

    “It’s pleasing to be back after a frustrating time with injury,” the 29 times capped Northern Irish winger said.

    “It’s a long few weeks when you are rehabbing on your own in the gym, but I trained for the first time today and it felt good. If things are as positive in the next few days, I am hoping to be in contention for the Dundee Utd game on Sunday.

    “To get an injury when you are a professional footballer is terrible but picking one up so soon after joining a new team is horrible luck. But I am back up and running now and I am keen to get back into the team and try and have an impact in the last ten games of the season. I’m just itching to kick the ball again!”

    Jones feels he has some unfinished business in Cup competitions this year after suffering mixed emotions so soon into his spell at Fir Park.

    He was a late substitute in the Co-operative Insurance Cup Semi Final when Rangers scraped past Stuart McCall’s men thanks to a late goal from Steven Naismith.

    However, he was on the score sheet at Stranraer, helping ‘Well book their place in this round, and he hopes he can repeat that feat this weekend.

    “I may only make the bench but if that is the case, then maybe I’ll get on and score the winner,” he smiled.

    “But seriously, it’s a big game for us. I know what the Scottish Cup means to the fans and the people of Motherwell. If we perform to the best of our capabilities, I think we can win. Dundee Utd are a good side and we’ll need to be at our best but we are going there looking to progress.

    “Those ten minutes at Hampden gave me a taste of it and I am desperate to get back there.”

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    Quarter Final Super Sunday

    Motherwell FC are delighted to announce that the Centenary Suite will be open from 11am this Sunday for an afternoon of live Scottish Cup action.

    If you’ve no plans to travel to Tannadice, why not bring the family along to join Dougie Arnott and guests for live TV coverage of our match versus Dundee Utd – a re-run of that famous day in May twenty years ago.

    The Centenary Suite will remain open for business as we wait (in collective hope) for the players’ triumphant return to Fir Park.

    Our Super Sunday continues into the night with Karaoke fun for all the family.

    For more information, contact us on 01698 338008.

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    Dundee Utd Tickets & Travel

    Motherwell travel to Tannadice this Sunday hopeful of booking a place in the Scottish Cup Semi Final.

    It will be the fourth of possibly six games between the sides this campaign after ‘Well dispatched of Peter Houston’s men in the Quarter Finals of the Co-operative Insurance Cup.

    However, with the Arabs getting back to full strength and returning to full form, Sunday will prove an altogether tougher encounter.

    The game, live on Sky Sports, will kick-off at 1.15pm with tickets, available on the turnstile, priced at:

    ADULTS:   £10
    CONCESSIONS:                                               £5
    • Concessions are listed as Under 18s, Over 60s and full time students with a valid matriculation card.
    • Fans who require wheelchair access should contact Elaine MacDonald at the club on 01698 338009 or email tickets@motherwellfc.co.uk.



    The bus for Dundee will leave the Bentley Hotel at 10.45am. Phone Jim on (01698) 299650 or e-mail Christopher on christopher_hutton@btinternet.com.


    The Wisahw bus to Tannadice on 13th March will leave at 10.45am. To book seats please call Anne on 01698470601 or email andrew.sim48@btinternet.com.


    The Dundee Utd bus will pick up at the Fir Park Club, Motherwell at 8.40am then the Carousel Bar, Bellshill at 8.50pm and finally the Holytown War Monument at 8.55am. To book seats, contact Brian Worton on 07763 061821 or after 6pm on (01698) 747644.


    BY CAR

    The stadium is located less than 200 yards from Dens Park, home of their city rivals Dundee, and is well signposted for travelling fans.

    Head towards Perth on the A9 and then follow the A90 into Dundee, leaving at the junction with the B960 to turn right on to Clepington Road (signposted Football traffic).

    Continue along Clepington Road for one mile and go through a roundabout before turning right on Arklay Street. The stadium will be clearly visible on the right.

    Street parking is available on numerous streets around the ground.

    BY BUS

    Several operators run buses to Dundee, departing every hour from Buchanan Station in Glasgow city centre.

    Further information and timetables are available online at www.citylink.co.uk.


    Dundee station is over two miles away from the ground, although frequent bus services run throughout the city.

    Further information and timetables are available online at www.scotrail.co.uk.



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    Late double sinks Caley

    Motherwell U19s came back from a goal down to win 2-1 against Inverness CT at Dingwall this afternoon.

    An own-goal from Ewan Murray gave Inverness the lead and it looked as if they would hold out for all three points. However, two goals in the last two minutes, both from Steve Howarth, swung things in Motherwell’s favour.

    The result moves ‘Well joint with Hibs in fifth place, although the Easter Road club have the better goal difference.

    Full report to follow…

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    Officials appointed for Cup clash

    Referee for Sunday’s Scottish Cup Quarter Final clash with Dundee Utd at Tannadice is Calum Murray.

    Murray will be handling his second ‘Well game of the current campaign after previously overseeing the 1-0 defeat at McDiarmid Park in January.

    Saints won that night courtesy of a controversial penalty award when Stephen Craigan was adjudged to have clashed with Michael Duberry inside the area; Liam Craig dispatched the resulting kick from the spot.

    Last season, he was the man in the middle for the 1-1 draw with Rangers; Tom Hateley netting a sensational equaliser for the Steelmen. That game was also marred by a controversial call when Ross Forbes’ goal was somehow disallowed for offside despite television pictures showing the midfielder to be at least two yards onside.

    He also took charge of the 3-2 home defeat by Sunday’s opponents Dundee Utd in April last year when a John Sutton double wasn’t enough to give ‘Well the points.

    His overall record in charge of the Steelmen is fairly decent. Of the fourteen games he has taken charge of, Motherwell have won seven, drawn two and lost five. The Fir Parkers have scored nineteen whilst seventeen have hit the back of the ‘Well net.

    39 players have seen yellow on those fourteen matches, 21 of which were shown to a player wearing Claret and Amber. Only one player has been sent for an early bath, Bob Malcolm in the famous 1-0 win over Celtic back in early 2008.

    Calum will be ably assisted by Brian McGarry and Charlie Smith with Craig Charleston on fourth official duties.

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    ‘Well kick off Scotland’s Census 2011

    Motherwell FC have helped kick off Scotland’s Census 2011 which takes place on Sunday 27 March this year.

    Stephen Craigan (club captain), Keith Lasley and youngster Dario Quinn joined census district manager Louis Howson at the club’s Fir Park ground to highlight that everyone’s included in the census and that its results help deliver billions of pounds worth of services – including future sports facilities. 

    More than 2.5 million questionnaires for Scotland’s biggest population survey are now being delivered to households across the country ahead of census day later this month.

    All enumerators (census takers) who will be delivering the census questionnaires to homes in North and South Lanarkshire have been security checked and have signed an undertaking to protect the privacy of the information on the questionnaires. They will also all carry official photographic identification. Anyone with doubts about their authenticity can contact the census helpline on 0300 123 1702.

    Registrar General for Scotland, Duncan Macniven, is responsible for organising the census.

    He said: “Like football, the census covers Scotland nationally and locally – everyone is included. For many young people – and people from the rest of the world who have made Scotland their home, such as many of the SPL’s football stars – 2011 is the first time that they have been responsible for filling in a census questionnaire.  This month, they have their chance to make a permanent mark on Scotland.

    “The census asks questions that help the government, local authorities and businesses target billions of pounds of public money on services, including health, housing and leisure facilities. Personal information is kept confidential for 100 years.

    “There are 13 questions about the household and up to 35 questions for each person. Most of the census questions are multiple choice and can be answered by simply ticking a box. It takes about 10 minutes to complete per person, but its effects will last for a decade.”

    Chief Executive of Motherwell FC, Leeann Dempster said:  “Motherwell Football Club is delighted to assist in any way we can with raising awareness of the 2011 census. The information provided in the census, which is the only reliable medium for measuring population, will go a long way to helping the government, local authorities and businesses plan and provide a wide range of public services including health, housing, transport and education.

    “It is vital you take part on census day at the end of the month, 27 March 2011.”

    Local census regional manager Kerr McConnell added: “The census is hugely significant as its results help provide a “big picture” of Scotland in 2011 and will also help with the crucial delivery of future services and resources for North and South Lanarkshire.

    “It is important for the future development of North and South Lanarkshire as it will provide the facts and figures required to effectively plan ahead and give the communities across  North and South Lanarkshire what they need, now and in future years to come.’’

    For further information on Scotland’s Census visit www.scotlandscensus.gov.uk.