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    Cowdenbeath 0 – 5 Motherwell

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    Saturday friendly information

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    TV: McCall counting on experience

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    ‘Well paired with Kuban Krasnodar

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    TV: Motherwell sign McFadden

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    TV: McCall happy with new signings

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    TV: McManus eyes more Scotland caps

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    TV: Highlights from Fir Park

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    TV: McCall satisfied despite defeat

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    Motherwell 2 – 4 Newcastle Utd

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    Cowdenbeath 0 – 5 Motherwell

    Motherwell coasted to a comfortable victory in the sunshine at Central Park this afternoon.

    Dominic Thomas curled home a wonderful effort on the half-hour mark and Bob McHugh netted from the spot to double the lead just before half-time.

    A blistering last 15 minutes saw three further goals for the Fir Parkers, McHugh rocketed home a wonderful free-kick and Keith Lasley’s low drive found the corner of the net.

    Craig Moore added the fifth in the final minutes to complete a satisfying afternoon for the visitors.

    With Stuart McCall opting to split his squad between games in Morecambe and Cowdenbeath, Kenny Black led a side featuring James McFadden, Lasley, Steven Hammell and Simon Ramsden to face the Blue Brazil.

    There was concern on the bench when McFadden hobbled off after 25 minutes, however Black later confirmed he was only taken off as a precaution.

    McFadden saw his early effort comfortably gathered by Scott Mathieson, before Thomas flashed a shot just wide of the target.

    The Scotland legend was enjoying a bright start to his first appearance since putting pen to paper on a one-year-deal with the club and he again tried his luck from range – this time his shot sailing over courtesy of a deflection.

    McHugh was the next to try and break the deadlock as the visitors continued to control proceedings.

    McFadden’s afternoon ended after only 24 minutes when he limped off to be replaced by Steven Higgins.

    Kenny Black’s men got the goal their play merited on the half-hour mark when Thomas skipped past his man before curling a superb effort beyond the helpless Mathieson.

    Lee Erwin narrowly failed to connect with Craig Moore’s low cross on 36 minutes, but the small band of travelling fans did not have to wait long for another goal.

    Greg Stewart clumsily brought down Keith Lasley inside the box McHugh coolly slotted home from the spot.

    Young left-back Ross Kellock replaced Simon Ramsden at half-time meaning Hammell was moved into the centre of the Well defence.

    McHugh sent a shot from distance wide of the post with 16 minutes remaining, but he did add to his tally two minutes later – floating a wonderful free-kick past the helpless Mathieson from 25-yards.

    Lasley drilled home a fourth after connecting with a loose ball following Thomas’s free-kick hit the wall and Moore completed the rout, slotting a close-range shot past the goalkeeper via a slight deflection.

    The knock to McFadden aside, it will be regarded a very good days work for the squad.

    Motherwell: Hollis, Ramsden (Kellock 45), Hammell, Lasley, Murray, Cummins (Leitch 77), McFadden (Higgins 23), Thomas, McHugh, Moore, Erwin

    Subs: Currie, Cadden

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    Saturday friendly information

    ‘Well boss Stuart McCall has said he plans to mix it up ahead of a fixture double-header this weekend.

    The Steelmen face Morecambe at the Globe Arena and Cowdenbeath at Central Park – both on Saturday afternoon.

    It was initially thought that the game against the Blue Brazil would be used predominately as an Under 20s fixture, but the Fir Park boss will now send an ‘XI’ to both.

    McCall said: “I want everyone to get ninety minutes, so we will split up the squads for both matches.

    “We are getting so close to European matches and it will help the lads if everyone gets a full game.”

    MORECAMBE:

    Venue: Globe Arena
    Kick-off: 2pm
    Kit: Claret and Amber (Home)

    Admission Prices:

    SEATING AREA:

    ADULTS:   £12
    CONCESSIONS:    £8
    JUNIORS:   £4

    STANDING AREA:

    ADULTS:   £10
    CONCESSIONS:    £7
    JUNIORS:   £3
      • Concessions are listed as Over 60s and Full Time Students with a valid matriculation card and registered disabled.
      • Juveniles are listed as 14 – 18 year olds.

    Squad:

    Gunnar Nielsen, Ross Stewart, Fraser Kerr, Stephen McManus, Shaun Hutchinson, Zaine Francis-Angol, David Ferguson, Stuart Carswell, Paul Lawson, Iain Vigurs, Paul McCafferty, Craig McCall, John Sutton, Henri Anier, Dale Shirkie coached by Stuart McCall, Gordon Marshall, John Porteous (Physio) and Alan MacDonald (Kitman)

     

    COWDENBEATH:

    Venue: Central Park
    Kick-off: 3pm
    Kit: All black (Away)

    Admission Prices:

    ADULTS:   £10
    CONCESSIONS:    £5
    • Concessions are listed as OAPs and Under 16s. Please note there are no student tickets available

    Squad:

    Lee Hollis, Max Currie, Stevie Hammell, Ross Kellock, Euan Murray, Adam Cummins, Simon Ramsden, Steven Higgins, Dom Thomas, Craig Moore, Frazer Johnstone, Keith Lasley, Lee Erwin, Bob McHugh, James McFadden coached by Kenny Black, Jonatan Johansson, Adam Stokes (Physio) and Nicky Watson (Kitman).

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    TV: McCall counting on experience

    ‘Well boss Stuart McCall is hoping to call on previous European experiences when they face FC Kuban in a fortnight.

    Whilst it is the Russians first match in European competition, the tie will represent Motherwell’s tenth in the last five years.

    And although the Krasnodar side is full of experienced International players such as Djibril Cissé, McCall wants to use St Johnstone in Rosenburg and Scotland in Croatia as an inspiration for upsetting the odds.

    [pullquote]We’ve got to look to try and progress and we can take confidence from St Johnstone’s result last night as well as Scotland’s result in Croatia.[/pullquote]

    He told the gathered press at Motherwell’s news conference: Last season I was pleased with the away games on Europe; we were 0-0 in Greece for a long period of time and only got beat 1-0 by Levante.

    “Games like those are great experiences for the players and they’ll all be looking forward to playing Kuban.

    “We have to make sure we go to Russia and, not to say still be in the tie – that’s a negative way to look at it, but to go there and have a lead

    “We’ve got to look to try and progress and we can take confidence from St Johnstone’s result last night as well as Scotland’s result in Croatia.

    “We’ll be positive and do the best we possibly can. If we can be at our best and it gets us through, it’s all well and good.”

    -WATCH HIS FIRST INTERVIEW EXCLUSIVELY ON MFC TV

    MFC TV

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    ‘Well paired with Kuban Krasnodar

    Motherwell will face Russian side FC Kuban Krasnodar  in the Europa League 3rd Qualifying Round.

    The ties are due to be played on 1 and 8 August 2013.

    More information will follow shortly…

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    TV: Motherwell sign McFadden

    Motherwell FC is today delighted to confirm the signing of James McFadden on a one-year contract.

    30-year old McFadden started his career at Fir Park, scoring 31 goals in 58 starts, before securing a £1.25 million move to English Premiership side Everton back in September 2003.

    He has spent a decade south of the border with spells at Birmingham City, Everton (again) and Sunderland. He has also been capped 48 times by Scotland, scoring 15 goals.

    He returned to Fir Park for a second spell in February and galvanised the squad who would go on to finish second in the Scottish Premier League. Faddy’s contribution cannot be underestimated, scoring five goals in ten starts.

    The forward is Motherwell’s seventh signing of the summer following the arrival of Paul Lawson, Iain Vigurs, John Sutton, Fraser Kerr, Gunnar Nielsen and Stephen McManus.

    [pullquote]My relationship with the supporters and how they are with me certainly played a part in my decision.[/pullquote]

    Speaking exclusively to MFC TV, McFadden said: “I am really pleased to have it all sorted.

    “When the manager asked me to go to Spain, I made up my mind then that I was going to come back and I am really looking forward to the season ahead.

    “My relationship with the supporters and how they are with me certainly played a part in my decision.

    “It’s familiar surroundings; obviously I really enjoyed it last season, I hope the fans will be happy and I am happy to get it all done.”

    Chief Executive Leeann Dempster added: “Obviously we are thrilled and delighted to have James on board again.

    “He is an iconic figure amongst our supporters and made a significant contribution at a vital time last season.

    “The board have been very pleased with how the summer recruitment plan has gone thus far and are still hopeful of adding some more new faces in the near future.”

    -WATCH HIS FIRST INTERVIEW EXCLUSIVELY ON MFC TV

    MFC TV

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    TV: McCall happy with new signings

    ‘Well boss Stuart McCall has declared himself pleased with the standard of players he has recruited so far this summer.

    The Steelmen had already brought in Paul Lawson, Iain Vigurs, Fraser Kerr, John Sutton and Gunnar Nielsen before Stephen McManus joined at the start of the week.

    And the 40-times capped former Scotland International midfielder is hopeful of adding more in the near future, with ‘Well hero James McFadden top of the wanted list.

    He said: I’m really pleased to have (Stephen) McManus on board.

    [pullquote]There is no doubt we’ve lost a lot of quality, that goes without saying but I’ve been pleased with the players we’ve brought in.[/pullquote]

    “To be honest, I thought when we didn’t get him on the plane to Spain with us and he went off to train with Hibs, we wouldn’t get him but thankfully he’s decided to come here.

    “I wasn’t really looking for a centre back; Simon Ramsden did well there last season and we’ve lost two good full backs in Hateley and Saunders but when a player of his pedigree and quality comes up, I thought we’d have a sniff and we’re delighted to get him.

    “There is no doubt we’ve lost a lot of quality, that goes without saying but I’ve been pleased with the players we’ve brought in.

    “I still think, not including Faddy, we need one, if not two, other additions and if we get that I’ll be pleased with the work we’ve done.”

    -WATCH THE FULL PRESS CONFERENCE ON MFC TV

    MFC TV

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    TV: McManus eyes more Scotland caps

    Experienced defender Stephen McManus has more caps in his sights after joining Motherwell on Monday.

    The defender won the most recent of his 26 caps in a 3-2 defeat by Spain at Hampden in October 2010, but he is keen to make sure it is not his last.

    The 30-year-old, who made 21 appearances last season for Middlesbrough and loan is aiming to impress former Celtic and Riverside boss Gordon Strachan after signing a one-year deal at Fir Park.

    [pullquote]You get what you deserve and if I end up in the Scotland squad then great. My aim is to concentrate on playing here week in week out and I’ll see where that takes me.[/pullquote]

    Speaking to the gathered media at a Press Conference to formally parade him as ‘Well player, he said: “I’m only 30 and everybody knows about the relationship I have with Gordon Strachan, which is pretty good, but you don’t get any favours in football.

    “You get what you deserve and if I end up in the Scotland squad then great. My aim is to concentrate on playing here week in week out and I’ll see where that takes me.

    “The only reason I will not be in squads is if the manager doesn’t pick me, it will not be from my own doing. It’s a different challenge playing here but it’s one I’m going to enjoy.”

    -WATCH THE FULL PRESS CONFERENCE ON MFC TV

    MFC TV

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    TV: Highlights from Fir Park

    Highlights from the Fir Park as Premiership side Newcastle United beat Motherwell 4-2 in tonight’s pre-season friendly.

    -WATCH THE FULL HIGHLIGHTS ONLY ON MFC TV-

    MFC TV

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    TV: McCall satisfied despite defeat

    Whilst acknowledging required improvements, ‘Well boss Stuart McCall declared himself pleased with the workout against Newcastle tonight.

    The Steelmen lost 4-2 to the impressive Premiership outfit, goals coming from Iain Vigurs and the on trial James McFadden.

    The Toon’s extra quality and class shone through in the end, but there was plenty for the hosts to be pleased about, including a positive showing from Estonian Henri Anier.

    [pullquote]There are things we know we need to sharpen up on but, likewise, there were a lot of positives as well.[/pullquote]

    Speaking to MFC TV after the match, McCall said: “Henri has had a chance in the first minute and we could have gone one up but after that, they had a spell of fifteen minutes where it took us a while to get to grips with their movement.

    “We were sloppy with a couple of their goals. But then we bedded down and got a terrific goal ourselves from Vigs (Iain Vigurs), which gave us a bit of confidence.

    “Newcastle have got good quality in the front areas and the movement was terrific. In the wide areas they were very decisive, sharp and strong and in the middle of the park they had the two regulars who were excellent. We can learn from that.

    “There are things we know we need to sharpen up on but, likewise, there were a lot of positives as well. It’s not about the result; a lot of the boys got 90 minutes under their belt and we tried out some new shapes.”

    -WATCH HIS INTERVIEW EXCLUSIVELY ON MFC TV

    MFC TV

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    Motherwell 2 – 4 Newcastle Utd

    Motherwell lost 4-2 to a strong Newcastle United side as preparations for the new season continue.

    The visitors made a blistering start when Haris Vuckic and Yoan Gouffran put the Toon in a commanding lead.

    Iain Vigurs reduced the arrears with a blistering strike on 26 minutes but the Magpies restored their two-goal advantage before the break, Moussa Sissoko striking a shot under Hollis.

    ‘Well got themselves back into things when James McFadden chipped a cheeky penalty into the back of the net after Stuart Carswell had been fouled.

    But Newcastle’s quality shone through and Sylvain Marveaux added a fourth from close range.

    Having captured the signature of Stephen McManus earlier in the week, the former Celtic captain sat out this match with a small niggle, as did John Sutton who was nursing stitches after a head clash at Doncaster on Saturday.

    Gunnar Nielsen was listed amongst the subs, along with “trialist” James McFadden. Iain Vigurs and Paul Lawson, the other two new signings, started in the midfield with Stuart Carswell and Keith Lasley. The backline looking the most familiar, made up of Simon Ramsden, Adam Cummins, Shaun Hutchinson and Stevie Hammell.

    The Steelmen started the match with trialist striker Henri Anier up front and he was in the mix early on, turning Yanga-Mbiwa at the edge of the box before firing just over the bar. However, it didn’t take long for the Premiership side to take the lead when Haris Vuckic opened the scoring on eight minutes.

    Gouffran seized on a loose ball by Shaun Hutchinson and advanced towards goal. Lee Hollis narrowed the angle to save, but Vuckcic was in hand to slot in to an empty net from sixteen yards.

    Motherwell responded with a well delivered Iain Vigurs corner, but Adam Cummins’ header was saved at the front post by Rob Elliott. However, the Newcastle fans were the ones to applaud the next goal, as French international Gouffran extended the visitors lead on 14 minutes.

    Vuckic turned provider this time, as he strode unchallenged from the midfield to play in the striker, who slotted through Hollis’ legs to double the advantage. At the stage it looked like Newcastle could score at will as the ‘Well defence failed to cope with the away side’s pace. Sammy Ameobi saw a great effort from distance crash back off the post as they began to turn the screw.

    Estonian Anier almost halved the deficit for the Steelmen after bullying his way past Mike Williamson, but was thwarted by Elliot at his near post, just before Iain Vigurs got the Steelmen back in to it in style.

    Steady build up play resulted in a ball lofted in to the box for Anier, who did enough to touch it back to the former Ross County man who smacked a volley low in to the bottom corner from the edge of the box. It was a stunning way to open his Motherwell account and lifted the home crowd.

    As McCall’s side hunted a leveller, it was a cruel blow that saw them fall two goals behind once more. Moussa Sissoko expertly manoeuvred a shot from 25-yards that cruelly squirmed under Hollis and rolled agonisingly into the net.

    The visitors led 3-1 at half time in what had been an action-packed opening period. The second-half started with a bang, mainly due to the introduction of ‘Faddy’.

    Given a rapturous welcome when he ran out, he pulled his side back in to the game within minutes of the restart.

    Stuart Carswell was tripped inside the box by Sissoko, with referee Wullie Collum pointing to the spot. McFadden placed the ball and with the coolness you would expect from the ‘Well legend, dinked the ball Pirlo style down the middle to make it 3-2.

    The appearance of the 48 times capped maestro brought with it his goal and the trickery that Motherwell fans are hoping to see on a regular basis for the coming season. Along with the introduction of Zaine Francis-Angol, the second-half saw the Steelmen play with much more width, with the Antiguan linking up well with Anier in particular down the left flank.

    Despite being more adventurous going forward, the Well fell further behind when Newcastle substitute Sylvain Marveaux made it 4-2, tapping in from close range after good work on the left by former St Mirren loanee Paul Dummet.

    As both sides wrung more changes, the tempo of the game died, with chances few and far between for either side. Both Anier and Keith Lasley dragged efforts wide for the hosts, while Adam Campbell and Sammy Ameobi passed up chances to make the scoreline more emphatic.

    The match finished 4-2 to Alan Pardew’s side, but the home side’s performance was a decent one, with some fine goals and decent performances from both the new and old heads.

    Next up is a trip to the seaside of Morecambe on Saturday where Stephen McManus and John Sutton are likely to feature.

    Motherwell: Hollis (Nielsen 45), Hammell, Ramsden, Hutchinson, Anier (Erwin 81), Lawson (Francis-Angol 45), Vigurs (Moore 74), Lasley (Murray 74), Cummins (Kerr 45), McHugh (McFadden 45), Carswell