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    McCall hails unplayable Higdon

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    Dundee Utd win in pictures

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    Dundee Utd 1 – 3 Motherwell

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    Craigan: More to come from Murphy

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    McCall wants more away day success

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    Play fair with Higgy

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    Youths take on Rangers

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    Dundee Utd Tickets & Travel

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    Officials appointed for United clash

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    McHugh has the last laugh

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    McCall hails unplayable Higdon

    Stuart McCall was full of praise for two-goal striker Michael Higdon in the wake of Motherwell’s 3-1 win over Dundee United at Tannadice.

    Higdon capitalised on a goalkeeping error and coolly slotted home a penalty as the bustling striker showed the qualities which convinced McCall to bring him to Fir Park in the summer.

    It takes the former Falkirk man’s tally to a more than respectable six goals in eleven appearances, and his manager is in no doubt that the 28-year old will continue to be a real goal threat for the ‘Well.

    “Before he scored, in the first three or four games, he’d had shots kicked off the line or headed off the line, so he could be in double figures by now,” the Steelmen gaffer praised.

    “I’m pleased for him, he’s got some stick off some fans in our last home game, and he’s reacted well to it.

    “He knows how much we value him. He trains hard, he’s a conscientious lad and the rest of the boys are behind him, as they are each other.

    “From the first whistle we’ve got in about it. We’ve talked about all week that we need to defend as a unit and fight in the midfield. We knew the midfield area was going to be key and I thought  Higdon led the line very well. All the pieces of the jigsaw fitted together today.”

    [pullquote]He knows how much we value him. He trains hard, he’s a conscientious lad and the rest of the boys are behind him, as they are each other.[/pullquote]

    Higdon’s super brace was supplemented by a fine strike by Keith Lasley, who appears to have discovered something of a goal touch in his 30’s

    The ‘Well legend fired in his third goal of the campaign against the Terrors – already his most prolific season since he racked up four in the 2003/04 campaign.

    McCall joked that the 32-year old’s form was down to him showing Keith his ‘Two Greatest Goals’ DVD, before praising the fluency of his opener, and the subsequent team effort to see out the result.

    The former Bradford boss continued: “The first was a great team goal, well worked and a great finish.

    “With Jenno back in there back to his best, that allows Lasley and Law to get forward and in to the box, that’s what we’ve worked on. We had to match up with them in the midfield and it worked out well. It’s been a good day for us.

    “Then to get the second goal just on half time was great. The ball fell right at Michael’s feet, but it was perhaps on his weaker side, so he’s done well to put it away.

    “All in all it was a good day’s work, borne out of team effort really. The only negative is going home without the clean sheet.”

  • Archive

    Dundee Utd win in pictures

    Pictures from the 3-1 win over Dundee Utd in the Clydesdale Bank Premier League at Tannadice.

    These action shots and more are available to buy online at motherwellPICS.

    [svgallery name=”dundeeutd011011″]

  • Archive

    Dundee Utd 1 – 3 Motherwell

    [tab:Match report]

    twitter Kris Jack at Tannadice

    A Michael Higdon brace helped Motherwell to a comprehensive 3-1 win over Dundee United as the Steelmen ascended to second place in the Clydesdale Bank Premier League.

    Keith Lasley’s rounded off a superb team move to slot home his third league goal of the season and give the Steelmen the lead. And Michael Higdon’s double either side of the break gave Stuart McCall’s charges a degree of comfort in Tayside.

    Jon Daly countered for the hosts but ‘Well comfortably held on for a well-deserved away victory at Tannadice.

    The result ensures Motherwell will sit in second spot in the SPL, for 24 hours at least.

    For the fourth consecutive match, Stuart McCall stuck with the same starting line-up. Bob McHugh was unlucky to miss out after his late winner against Aberdeen, while Omar Daley also had to be content with a place on the bench.

    United’s starting XI featured Craig Levein’s latest Scotland call up Danny Swanson and former Motherwell loan star Gavin Gunning. Johnny Russell was left on the bench alongside former Dundee man Barry Douglas. While contract rebel Scott Allan was left out altogether.

    On what was a dreich, dank day in Dundee, Motherwell gave a first outing to their new silver away kit – in the hope of giving a shining performance.

    And the first half started brightly enough. Motherwell’s first real opportunity came when Stevie Hammell and Nicky Law set up Jamie Murphy to deliver in to the box. His centre was knocked to Law by Lasley, with the former Rotherham midfielder’s shot blocked by Dixon.

    Daly then gave Darren Randolph his first touch of the ball, heading too close to the keeper from 12 yards after good work on the left between John Rankin and Ryan Dow. 

    United appeared to have a let off when Garry Kenneth appeared to handle in the box from Law’s attempted knock on, but ball-to-hand was called and no penalty was the decision.

    Motherwell took the lead on 14 minutes – and did so in glorious fashion. A great diagonal ball from Law found Tom Hateley scampering down the right. His first time cross fizzed across the box to the on-rushing Keith Lasley, who blasted high beyond Pernis.

    The 4-5-1 setup that McCall had employed was putting pressure on United’s midfield, as Steve Jennings , Lasley and Law seemed to dampen the threat of Willo Flood, Rankin and Swanson.

    Law was next to have a crack at goal on 20 minutes. Higdon won a high ball at the second attempt, knocking down for the “Motherwell Messi” but his shot from the edge of the box drifted just wide.

    A nice interchange on the edge of the United box between Higdon and Hateley set up Humphrey, whose shot from just inside the box was deflected wide. From the resulting corner, Higdon’s header floated just wide.

    Dundee United attempted to find a response to Motherwell’s dominance and a surging run from Gary Kenneth almost caused chaos in the Well box, but Steven Hammell cleared the danger.

    Early substitute Lauri Dalla Valle’s first involvement was a stooping header from a Keith Watson cross, which barely troubled Randolph. Jon Daly then volleyed over from the edge of the box as Dundee United exerted some pressure.

    Kenneth once more escaped with an apparent hand-ball in the box when Murphy got in behind the Terrors’ defence. His attempted cross from the byline looked to strike the Scotland internationalist’s arm, but play raged on.

    And Higdon made it 2-on the stroke of half time, thanks to a horrific blunder by Dusan Pernis. A terrible clearance from the Keeper landed right at the big striker’s feet with no one around him. He had time to compose himself before firing low across Pernis and in off the post.

    It was the ex-St Mirren forward’s third league goal of the season and will probably be one of the the easiest he gets. It was the ideal finish to a first half in which Motherwell looked comfortable throughout.

    A rare loose ball form Lasley allowed Jon Daly to send Swanson on a mazy run as United looked to respond in the second period. His shot from distance was struck with power but was blocked out by Clancy. From the resulting corner, Scott Robertson headed wide when he should have at least hit the target. 

    A great run to the byline by Law earned his side a penalty on 64 minutes. His jinky waltz was halted when he was upended by Kenneth, leaving referee McLean with no option other than to give the spot kick.

    Michael Higdon sent Pernis the wrong way for his second of the game. The travelling fans were noisily basking in being 3-0 up as Swanson and Robertson were hooked for Russell and Mackay-Steven.

    Gavin Gunning tried to instigate a comeback against his old side with a rasping 30-yard free kick, but it was tipped round the post by the diving Randolph.  John Rankin was next to try his luck but blasted high, wide and not-so handsome as the ‘Well defence backed off him.

    The Tangerines’ captain Daly eventually pulled one back for the hosts on 76 minutes. A low ball across the 6-yard line was palmed out by Darren Randolph. Watson was at the back post to feed Daly, who poked home from close range.

    Despite the concession of the late goal no comeback was forthcoming. Indeed, Craigan and Clancy remained solid at the back, with Law, Lasley and Jennings winning everything in the midfield as Motherwell saw the game out for a superb away win ahead of the upcoming international break.

    [tab:As it happened]

    twitter Alan Burrows at Tannadice

    Game over – 3-1 Well, great victory that sees us jump into second for at least one night!!

    90mins – Unbelievably FIVE minutes are being added on – don’t know where that came from!!

    87mins – another change, on comes Daley off goes Humphrey

    86mins – Sub for Well, Carswell on for Murphy

    78mins – GOAL Dundee United. Jon Daly (again vs Motherwell). Scrappy too!

    76mins – Rankin shot from distance flys high into the Eddie Thomson stand. Didn’t close home down quick enough there…

    72min – Game still tight here despite Motherwell’s lead. United look good on the attack but Craigan and Clancy doing well at the back.

    68mins – Offt, former defender Gavin Gunning almost makes it 3-1 with a rasping free-kick by Randolph turns it wide. Brilliant!

    64mins – Higdon slots home for his 6th of the season so far! Love the big man… Buzzin for him!

    GOOOALLLLL – Michael Higdon! #handsupforhiggy

    63mins – PENALTY to Motherwell!

    62mins – Great counter attack by Motherwell/ Murphy breaks, plays in Lasley but him, Pernis and Dixon pile in. Keeper saves! #brave

    57mins – Corner from Swanson finds Robertson unmarked but his header drops a good foot or so wide. Should have done better there….

    56mins – Slack ball across the middle of the park from Las is given away. United break, Clancy blocks for a corner.

    51mins – Corner from ‘Well causes problems in the home box. Ball lands at Lasley but his shot almost takes out the lineo on the far side.

    50mins – Signal had gone there but back now! 5 mins into the second half and nothing much happening.

    Half Time: Dundee Utd 0 – 2 Motherwell (Lasley, Higdon)

    45mins – Right on half-time, Pernis shanks a kick right to big Higgy. He keeps his composure to make it 2-0. #handsupforhiggy

    GOOOOOALLLLLLLLLLLL HIGDON!!!!! YA WEE BEUTY!

    44mins – Free kick from the half way line is floated into the box for Kenneth but his header bounces wide. Half time would be welcome…

    44mins – Half Time tea is on its way to the gantry – wonder if it’s still the molten lava variety the causes your mouth to fall off?

    41mins – Daly follows that with a looping shot from about 35 yards that goes WAAYY over the bar.

    40mins – Scooped cross from the right by Watson lands at Dalla Valle but his looping header is comfortable for Randy.

    36mins – United’s extra man in attack has forced Motherwell into knocking it longer for Higgy. Kenneth is winning the headers at the moment.

    35mins – Passing football has gone out the window as Gary Kenneth puts one in orbit. Ball came down like a hailstone…

    34mins – The change has perked United up a bit – crowd seem a bit more up for it too! Half-time wouldn’t be a bad thing for ‘Well just now.

    30mins – The Finnish striker will certainly give United more options going forward. It’s now 2 vs 2 in the middle of the park! C’mon ‘Well!

    30mins – That’s United going two up top now… The one up in Daly wasn’t working for the home side, allowing ‘Well to play from the back.

    30mins – Sub for United already – Ryan Dow is coming off and is replaced by Dalla Valle! That’s tactical from Houston.

    29mins – Motherwell burst forward. Space opens up for Humphrey but his shot is deflected wide for a corner…

    27mins – Game has slowed down slightly which will suit Motherwell I think. Was 100mph but tailed off in the last few mins..

    22mins – Some nice football on display from the Steelmen so far. United still look good going forward. More goals to come I am sure of it…

    20mins – @N7KOL4W7 sends a shot from about 20mins a few yards wide of the post. Good effort from the wee man! More of this please Motherwell

    20mins – Great play from Captain Crags… Slipped on the edge of the area but still got a goal kick from it. #oldhead

    17mins – With 73mins left, I am already looking towards ref Stevie McLean. That’ll do us ref eh? :-p

    14mins – Lasley’s third goal of the season. His highest tally for one season in his Motherwell career if memory serves me! YASSSSS!

    14mins – Great goal from the Steelmen! Law sends Hateley down the right. His cut back finds Lasley who smashes it high into the top corner

    GOOOOALLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLL!!! KEITH LASLEY!

    11mins – Handball shout here at Tannadice – Gary Kenneth catching it with the hand. To be fair, only claimers was Graham, Kris and I.

    10mins – Great running from Nicky Law – turning midfield into attack but his ball across the box had no takers. #encouraging

    8mins – Twice United have found Daly in the box early on. Wee warning shot across the bow I’d say. Need to stop crosses at source.

    7mins – Another chance from United. Cross from the left this time – from Ryan Dow – picks out Daly in the area but his header is saved.

    6mins – Been a good start to the game from both sides. Trying to play football on the carpet and play swinging from end to end.

    5mins – First half chance of the game goes to United. Good decent cross if the match by Watson finds Daly but his header drops wide. Phew!

    4mins – Hammell and Law combined. Former Rotherham man gets a good shot away but it is blocked by the Utd defence. Good early stuff!

    2mins – First offside of the game – Think it was Swanson. It’s quite quiet inside Tannadice. Hopefully ‘Well fans will warm-up soon…

    1min – Inside the opening 30 seconds and Jenno catches Tom Hateley. Yes, you did read that right. He’ll be okay though!

    1min – ‘Well kick-off! C’mon the Steelmen!!!!!!!!!

    [tab:Reaction]

    Motherwell manager Stuart McCall:

    “We’re miles above our target and we’ve got to be careful we don’t get carried away. First and foremost, our target is to be in the top six.

    “Outside the Old Firm and possibly Hearts, who have a big squad, and Jim McIntyre at Dunfermline who is probably looking for consolidation, every other manager believes they can be in the top half.

    “And that’s quite right. There are a lot of good and evenly balanced teams. To have the number of points we have is great. The lads have been fantastic but we’ve got to keep it going.”

    Dundee United manager Peter Houston:

    “We weren’t near it. We played against a good Motherwell side who looked hungrier, sharper and fitter than us.

    “Normally I can’t accuse my players of not working hard but the team that worked the hardest won the match.

    “It was a really, really poor performance. The better team won.”

    [tab:Man-of-the-match]

    [poll id=”72″]

  • Archive

    Craigan: More to come from Murphy

    Stephen Craigan has backed Jamie Murphy to put his Scotland snub behind him as Motherwell travel to Tannadice this weekend.

    The former Scotland under-21 starlet has once again been overlooked by current national boss Craig Levein ahead of the Scots crunch ties against Leichtenstein and Spain, despite regularly starring for the Steelmen in the last couple of seasons.

    But the current ‘Well captain believes Saturday’s encounter gives the 22-year old the perfect chance to shine – in front of Scotland assistant manager Peter Houston’s Dundee United side.

    “I’d love to see my team-mates get involved with international football,” Craigan admitted. “And the fans would love to see their players playing for their country.

    “He’s [Craig Levein] watched Motherwell and thinks a lot of Jamie. Maybe he thinks there are parts missing to his game or doesn’t know his best position. I think Jamie is adding to his game all the time – maybe he just needs a little bit of consistency.

    “I’ve no doubt that he’ll keep progressing and keep doing well.

    “Sometimes when you work with players at clubs you know their weaknesses and strengths and exactly what they can bring. He’s done that with Craig Conway, David Goodwillie and, now, Danny Swanson.

    “He’s the man who picks the squad and decides who is up to scratch, and if he thinks there are other players that can do a better job then fair play to him. If Craig doesn’t want to pick a Motherwell player then that’s just the way it is.”

    [pullquote]I’d love to see my team-mates get involved with international football and the fans would love to see their players playing for their country[/pullquote]

    In recent weeks Houston’s Terrors have begun to string together results and performances befitting a team which has been one of the most expansive and successful sides out-with the Old Firm in the past two seasons.

    Despite the loss of David Goodwillie, Prince Buaben, David Robertson, Morgaro Gomis and several other key players, United have managed to string together a run of results which has seen them only lose once in five outings – an unfortunate 1-0 defeat to Rangers.

    Perhaps more unnerving for the Steelmen is the fact the Tangerines have scored three goals in three of their last four Clydesdale Bank Premier League matches. There is little doubt a tough trip to Tayside awaits Craigan, Murphy and co.

    “Dundee United have shown in the last couple of years that they are one of the top sides in the country,” Motherwell’s most capped player praised.

    “It’s been tough for them as they’ve lost a lot of players. The European campaign, for example, saw them about four or five players down from where I think they’d like to be.

    “But they have shown that they can score goals. Yes, they conceded three to St. Johnstone, but they scored three. They scored three against Hibs and Inverness. They undoubtedly carry a threat, and with Jon Daly, Johnny Russell and Danny Swanson they will be a real threat.”

    A win at Tannadice would be a huge fillip for the ‘Well, especially heading into the upcoming international break. Indeed, a win would guarantee Motherwell go into that break with at least a four-point cushion in third place.

    And while other players may be dreaming of international call-ups, the former Northern Ireland skipper admits that he will be enjoying some down-time as the scramble to reach Euro 2012 reaches its conclusion.

    He smiled: “That’s why I retired; the fact that you do get a little bit of down-time to recover. I’ve been able to book some time away with my wife and little ones.

    “We’ve had a busy spell with tough games and for me to try and play well for Motherwell I’ve got to be fresh – fresh in the mind and the body.”

  • Archive

    McCall wants more away day success

    Stuart McCall has challenged his Motherwell side to continue their marvelous away form as they travel to Tayside to face Dundee United on Saturday.

    Motherwell have been to St Mirren Park, Rugby Park, Broadwood and East End Park without tasting defeat. Indeed, even as we move into October, the Steelmen have only lost once away from Fir Park this season, as an in-form Celtic swept aside McCall’s men 4-0.

    The ‘Well boss is under no illusions just how tough it will be to retain that away record at Tannadice, but he has backed his attacking stars to cause United – who have shipped eight goals in their last four SPL outings – some serious problems.

    “I look at my own team,” the manager mused. “If we can carry on our away form and go there and carry on the away form we’ve produced up to now then we have a chance.

    “We have to be disciplined and organised and work hard as a unit. But we want to combine that with being energetic in the middle of the park and creative up top with clinical finishing.

    “We know it will be an extremely tough game – but we have the players to make it a tough game for Dundee United.”

    [pullquote]We have to be disciplined and organised and work hard as a unit. But we want to combine that with being energetic in the middle of the park and creative up top with clinical finishing[/pullquote]

    While acknowledging the potency of his own attacking options, McCall has conceded that Motherwell’s defensive unit will have to be at its very best against the fearsome attacking trio of Johnny Russell, Jon Daly and recent Scotland call-up Danny Swanson.

    ‘Well registered a welcome clean sheet last time out against Aberdeen, and more of the same would do the former Bradford boss just fine.

    He continued: “In the main we’ve defended well, and we’ll need to do so again. It’s not just the centre-backs – it’s the team as a whole unit. I’ve said before that I’d rather win 5-4 than 1-0 but you need a strong basis at the back and defend soundly.

    “Jon Daly will always score you goals and Johnny Russell is looking to step up to the plate after David Goodwillie leaving.

    “It’s always a hard place to go, Tannadice, and they undoubtedly have individuals who can hurt you.”

    A win would see ‘Well go into the international break at least four points ahead of their nearest challengers for third spot – a remarkable achievement considering the budget and comparative paucity of the squad at Fir Park compared to some other sides in the SPL.

    “It would be a massive boost,” the 47-year old said, looking at the possibility of a win ahead of the hiatus.

    “After the break we then have Hibs away, and that takes us to our first sort of split – with the first eleven games of the season finished.

    “We are very happy with the points we have at the moment, but a few more before the first round of eleven matches would be very welcome indeed.”

  • Archive

    Play fair with Higgy

    Good evening ‘Well fans – I hope you are all well.
     
    I am writing this update before I rush off on a scouting mission to the Rangers versus Kilmarnock match ahead of our game against Kenny Shiels’ men in a few weeks time. Staff at the club will send it out on my behalf so hopefully it will reach you all okay.
     
    It has been a few weeks since I last sent out an email so I will get my apologies in early for that. I felt it important to type this out as there is quite a bit happened over the last few weeks and one or two things I am keen to say.
     
    It was great relief to get the win against Aberdeen after what was, unquestionably, a difficult week for everyone here at Fir Park.
     
    The St Johnstone game was probably the most disappointing performance we have had since I arrived at Motherwell last December. We were poor in possession, we lacked a cutting edge and there wasn’t enough urgency about our play.
     
    When I looked back on it, I don’t think, as a unit, we defended too badly. It was two individual, and uncharacteristic, errors (an own goal and a pass back) that really sealed our fate. However, more disappointingly, we created next to nothing and had no spark or energy which is most unlike us.
     
    It was important that we bounced back in the Cup a few days later. Reviewing it again, offensively we were excellent. I have watched the full 120 minutes back or two separate occasions and there is little doubt Hibs deserved to take us to extra-time after the chances they created during the second half. In extra-time, I thought we dominated and had five or six great opportunities to win and I have no doubt that if the assistant referee gets that big call right, which he should have, or we go through on penalties, people would have left Fir Park seven days ago buzzing after a terrific game of football.
     
    The ironic thing is that collectively, we defended much worse against Hibs than we did against St Johnstone. The Saints game was lost, as I’ve said, from two errors from two top professionals – and please be assured I am not having a go at either Tim Clancy or Stevie Hammell – it could have been anyone in those circumstances. Whereas against Hibs, our general defending allowed them too many chances throughout the match.
     
    It was sore to go out the Cup as the whole staff, the players and I were desperate to give you all another memorable run to Hampden.
     
    We then faced Aberdeen three days ago and I felt we defended much better as a team and restricted them to half chances, mainly from set-pieces. We perhaps didn’t click into gear as much as we would have liked going forward but still managed to hit the woodwork twice and eventually won the game through an excellent Bob McHugh winner.
     
    So a mixed bag – the usual highs and lows. But if you step back and look at the bigger picture, it has been a fantastic start to the SPL season. If you will forgive me for taking the two defeats from the Old Firm out of it – from the other games against the teams in and around us, we have played seven, won five, drawn one and lost one; a great record in anyone’s book.
     
    With that success comes the added weight of expectation and people were disappointed that we did not beat St Johnstone. Yes, we had a bad day at the office, but outwith the Rangers and Celtic, anyone can beat anyone; there is such a fine line! For us to be sitting third, with sixteen points, is a credit to the players. We can’t let a couple of disappointing defeats detract from that.
     
    I nearly choked on my Fruit and Fibre when I read in one of the Sunday papers, following the St Johnstone defeat, that our “title credentials” had been severely dented. That’s just ridiculous! We are under no illusions, our aim from the start of the season hasn’t changed and that is to fight hard to be in the top six against a number of good sides in the SPL this year.

    [pullquote]At the end of the day, surely you as supporters, and me as a manager, all want to see every player doing the very best they can to try and win the game for Motherwell. Lads have much more chances of achieving that if they have support as opposed to constant criticism and heckling.[/pullquote]
     
    I have one other thing to address before I finish. During the Aberdeen game I wanted to introduce Bob and I decided that he would replace Jamie Murphy. I knew it wasn’t going to be popular taking Jamie off but managers aren’t in football to be popular, you have got to make what you think is the correct decision and thankfully, it turned out to be the correct one.
     
    I will try and give you an insight into my thinking; I did touch on it when I spoke to the Press after the match. Cast you mind back to April 2nd this year when we last faced Aberdeen and Vujadinovic scores from a corner to make the last few minutes more than nervous. Last week, Aberdeen are 2-0 down to Kilmarnock and haul themselves back into the game with goals from a free-kick and a long throw.
     
    They have a big team with Gonzales, Mawene, Considine, Vernon, Arnason, Fallon, Osbourne and Magennis, all six foot plus. Compare that to us, we only have Randolph and Higdon who are in that category and Craigan and Clancy who are six foot exactly – not great when defending set plays.
     
    Although Higgy was going through a sticky spell, it was important that he stayed on for us because I felt that was the only way they were ever likely to score. We have the likes of Hammell picking up Vernon and Jennings marking Considine. We don’t have a tall team so we have to try and defend the best we can and I wouldn’t have been comfortable taking off our biggest guy – who had already one his fair share of flicks inside our box – with fifteen minutes left to play with the match so evenly poised. That doesn’t mean to say that if a similar scenario arises in future, Michael is immune to being substituted. He is not. We will have to take it game by game, and each opposition at their own merits, strengths and weaknesses.
     
    I understand there were some disgruntled voices and I don’t mind that coming to myself in terms of team selections, substitutions, whether I’ve got ginger hair or wearing shorts, it doesn’t matter. I’ve been in football now for forty years, watching, playing, scouting and managing, and I have never, ever – not even once – seen any situation where a crowd are getting on top of a player and it doing him any good.
     
    I didn’t enjoy hearing it when I stood on the terraces at Elland Road as a kid, I hated it when one of my teammates was getting abuse when I played the game and certainly don’t enjoy it when I am a manager and one of my players is getting it to the point where it is putting him off his game.
     
    If you use your common sense, and I know it is frustrating, there is no logical way that any individual will respond positively to personal abuse.
     
    At the end of the day, surely you as supporters, and me as a manager, all want to see every player doing the very best they can to try and win the game for Motherwell. Lads have much more chances of achieving that if they have support as opposed to constant criticism and heckling.
     
    I am not stupid, I know it goes on at every club but I want us here at Motherwell to rise above it. This is our team, we all want to win a game of football and the very best way is to get behind the lads and support them when things aren’t going well.
     
    Our support in general this year has been absolutely terrific, both home and away, and I appreciate that it is only a small minority. But sometimes that minority can be loud and it becomes like a domino effect. We are a small, tight-knit club from the players on the park and the management to the staff who work behind the scenes. We are all disappointed when we lose or feel the pain of any individual when things are going wrong and, importantly, we all take pride in doing well and winning and I include the fans in that.
     
    There are not many of us; it’s us against everyone else so let’s get right behind everyone in the team. Let’s give every player the backing and the encouragement they need, particularly when things aren’t going well because I can guarantee you that to a man, we have a squad of battlers who will put it all on the line for each other.
     
    Look forward to seeing you at Tannadice this Saturday.
     
    All the best,

  • Archive

    Youths take on Rangers

    Motherwell Under 19s return to action this Saturday when they face Rangers at Bathgate’s Creamery Park.

    Rangers, perennial challengers for the Championship at youth level, find themselves in the rather unfamiliar position of second bottom of the table, only saved from the basement by Inverness Caley Thistle.

    However, no one at Murray Park will be panicking just yet as the side still have three games in hand. Maximum points would take Billy Kirkwood’s men into second place, two behind leaders Celtic.

    ‘Well have been out of action since beating Inverness Caley almost two weeks ago. Steve Hetherington’s deflected strike separated the sides that day and the former Rangers midfielder would no doubt settle for a similar outcome against his former side this weekend.

    The match will take place at Bathgate Thistle’s Creamery Park this coming Saturday (1st October 2011) with an 11am kick-off.

  • Archive

    Dundee Utd Tickets & Travel

    Motherwell travel to the City of Discovery this Saturday hoping to build on last week’s victory of Aberdeen.

    After an excellent start to the campaign, McCall’s men suffered back to back defeats at the hands of Celtic and St Johnstone before crashing out the Cup on penalties at the expense of Hibernian.

    However, the Steelmen ground out a hard-fought victory over Craig Brown’s men and go into Saturday’s clash in third place, four points clear of nearest challengers Hearts.

    United have also returned to form recently, losing just once in their last five matches and that was a narrow 1-0 reverse at home to Rangers.

    With former ‘Well loanee Gavin Gunning in their ranks, it’s sure to be a stern test against the Tangerines.

    Tickets for the match are available on the gate at Tannadice with admission as follows:

    ADULTS:   £21 / £19  
    CONCESSIONS:                                                   £12 / £10
    • Concessions are listed as Over 60s, Under 18s and Full Time Students with a valid matriculation card.
    • The more expensive price of for the top tier. The cheaper priced ticket is for the lower tier.
    • Fans who require wheelchair access should contact John McCaskie on 01555 870122 or email sharon.mccaskie@sky.com.

    SUPPORTERS ASSOCIATION COACHES

    CENTRAL BRANCH

    The bus for Dundee will leave the Bentley Hotel at 1pm. Phone Jim on (01698) 299650 or e-mail Christopher on christopher_hutton@btinternet.com.

    WISHAW BRANCH

    The Wishaw bus to Tannadice Park will leave at 12.45pm. To book seats please call Anne on 01698 470601 or email andrew.sim48@btinternet.com.

    BELLSHILL & DISTRICT BRANCH

    The Dundee Utd bus will pick up at the Fir Park Club, Motherwell at 10.30am, then the Carousel Bar, Bellshill at 10.40am and finally the Holytown War Monument at 10.45am. Spaces are limited so to book your seat, contact Brian Worton on 07763 061821.

    TRAVEL

    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.

    BY TRAIN

    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.

    [mappress]

  • Archive

    Officials appointed for United clash

    Referee for Saturday’s Clydesdale Bank Premier League clash with Dundee United at Tannadice will be Steven McLean.

    McLean, brother of former ‘Well defender Brian, will be handling his second ‘Well game of the current campaign having previously taken charge of the league opener against Inverness Caley back in July.

    The 30-year old will be a familiar face to ‘Well fans having overseen three matches during the 2010/11 campaign.

    His first was his Motherwell ‘debut’ – a 2-1 win over Saturday’s opponents United at Fir Park one year ago. A couple of own goals gave The Steelmen the points despite David Goodwillie slamming home a penalty after McLean had adjudged skipper Stephen Craigan to have handled inside the area.

    His next was at Pittodrie when Motherwell took on Aberdeen for the first time since Craig Brown’s departure. A scintillating display from Stuart McCall’s men gave the Steelmen all three points after coming from behind to win 2-1.

    It was a difficult game for McLean to handle but, despite howls of protest from the home stands, the young official had an excellent evening and showed composure in the face of difficult circumstances.

    Finally, he was the man in the middle for another clash against Aberdeen, this time at Fir Park. A game more remembered for things that happened off the park after the final whistle; on the park the Steelmen won 2-1 again thanks to goals from Chris Humphrey and Shaun Hutchinson.

    McLean began his refereeing career back in 1997, aged just 16, but had to wait six years before being promoted to the SFA Senior List. It took him a further four years (June 2007) to get promoted to a Category 1 where he has spent the last three years handling SFL and ALBA Challenge Cup games as well as gaining experience as a fourth official at SPL matches.

    He eventually made his bow in Scotland’s top league when he took charge of Aberdeen’s 1-0 away win at McDiarmid Park over a year ago.  A late Darren Mackie goal was enough to give the Dons all three points and McLean had a good afternoon, booking five players in a competitive contest.

    He quickly followed that with another SPL match, this time the six-pointer between Kilmarnock and St Mirren at Rugby Park. A slightly more eventful outing for the young referee with Paul McGowan shown a straight red card for an off-the-ball incident. Killie eventually won the game 2-1; goals from Dayton and Eremenko cancelling out Steven Thomson’s leveller just after the interval.

    A busy debut season; Steven handled ten Scottish Premier League games and is on course to become one of Scotland’s top officials.

    McLean will be ably assisted by Gordon Middleton and Alistair Mather with Crawford Allan on fourth official duties.

  • Archive

    McHugh has the last laugh

    Bob McHugh had the last laugh as he turned Craig Brown’s pre match banter in to a reality by scoring the winner against Brown’s Aberdeen side.

    Motherwell ran out 1-0 victors, with the young striker’s 83rd minute goal proving the difference – a goal which McHugh insisted was worth the wait.

    “It has been a long time coming,” said the 20 year old. “I was disappointed in midweek when my goal was disallowed when I thought it should have stood, but I got the important one today.

    “Craig had a little word with me before the game and jokingly said ‘don’t you be coming off the bench to score the winner today’, which I obviously ended up doing.”

    It was McHugh’s first goal in the SPL, despite having been in around the first team squad for the last three seasons.

    The Glaswegian striker has played under three different managers in his short career, but has now set his sight on more first-team appearances and more vital goals for Motherwell under the stable influence of Stuart McCall.

    [pullquote]Craig had a little word with me before the game and jokingly said ‘don’t you be coming off the bench to score the winner today’, which I obviously ended up doing.[/pullquote]

    “I’ve scored some decent goals in other competitions, but this was my first goal in the SPL, so it was always going to be good to get it.” A delighted McHugh said.

    “Under Jim Gannon I was making a lot of starts and then he left. Craig (Brown) and Archie (Knox) coming in set me back a bit, but towards the end of them being here I was getting back in the team and making more appearances.

    “Then Stuart McCall came in and that was another manager I had to prove myself to. I’ve been enjoying playing under him, but I have had to be quite patient.”

    McHugh’s strike was a prime example of the quality the youngster possesses. He beat Ricky Foster to Steve Jennings’ long ball out of the box, before firing low in the Cooper End goal.

    And the 20-year old praised manager Stuart McCall for giving him the freedom to change the game.

    He continued: “The manager has said to me to play positively and I did that when I took my goal.

    “I managed to cut in on to my left foot, I think Keith Lasley was the only other team mate in support, but I just put my foot through it and scored.”