Stuart McCall admits he is delighted with the start made by his Motherwell side, but insists there’s still work to do as The Steelmen look to improve on a successful campaign last year.
‘Well sit atop the Scottish Premier League with two wins and one draw from the first three fixtures of the season; moreover, the watertight Motherwell defence is yet to be breached this season.
Yet, despite a blistering start to the campaign McCall is all too aware of the threat posed by a St Mirren side who have also enjoyed a positive start to the season, having made some high profile signings this summer.
“It’s great to get a positive start,” McCall praised. “It’s pleasing to be undefeated, but the main thing is those two wins we’ve got on the board. People will talk about the clean sheets, and while we’ve been lucky at times I think in the main we’ve defended well.
“It’s an old cliché but we will look ahead to the next game. The past is the past and we will take the confidence of previous performances and look ahead.
“St Mirren have brought in some good attacking talent; Thompson, Teale and young Paul McGowan.
“We know the dangers that lie ahead because St Mirren have started very well. I was at Tannadice last week to see them play a great 45 minutes there. The boy Hasselbaink got sent off and that changed the game – but they still fought hard to get a point.”
[pullquote]St Mirren have brought in some good attacking talent; Thompson, Teale and young Paul McGowan. We know the dangers that lie ahead because St Mirren have started very well.[/pullquote]
While this season has been superb for The Steelmen on the pitch, there has been a major setback on the injury front, after Stevie Saunders ruptured his Achilles tendon while on international duty with Scotland Under 21’s.
It is a serious setback for the gifted youngster especially given that Saunders impressed massively on his first start for Motherwell this season against Hearts last week.
“He’s had his operation now,” McCall confirmed solemnly. “It was a ruptured Achilles tendon and will keep him out for six to nine months – it was just unlucky as there was nobody near him. It’s unfortunate, but he’s young and he’s healthy and we hope he’ll come back even stronger than before.
“We wish him all the best. He’ll be back in soon and we’ll have a little chat with him and hopefully keep his spirits up.
“Speaking from experience – I was out for eleven months with my knee when I was at Rangers – it can be a lonely time working away in the gym and not being able to do what you really want; go out and play football. But he’s a positive lad who will get on with his rehab and I think he’ll be back sooner rather than later.”
The horrible injury to the young Scotland international has further exacerbated ‘Well’s need for a defender. The Steelmen gaffer had previously stated his need for defensive re-enforcements – and the search is now more ‘urgent’.
The ‘Well gaffer continued: “We were looking to bring in a defender as it was, but now I feel we need to bring in a centre-back who can play at right-back.
“We have to be looking at bringing in a defender now. That was the case before Steven’s injury but has been made more urgent after his injury.”