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    TV: Sutton wants to finish with a flurry

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    TV: McCall’s Fir Park focus

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    Kilmarnock Magazine Preview

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    Madden in charge of Killie clash

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    TV: McFadden wins monthly gong

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    More youngsters visit Fir Park

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    TV: Highlights from Fir Park

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    Ross County in pictures

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    TV: McCall pleased with County win

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    Motherwell 2 – 1 Ross County

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    TV: Sutton wants to finish with a flurry

    John Sutton has set his sights on a European spot to complete his best ever season in football.

    The big striker already has nineteen goals to his name this term and has formed a crucial part of Motherwell’s impressive run of eighteen league wins in thirty outings.

    The former Wycombe man is quick to acknowledge the part played by his teammates and says his aim now is to finish amongst the teams qualifying for Europe, marking his best campaign so far.

    Speaking to the gathered press at the pre-Kilmarnock press conference, the 30-year old said: “I have managed to score a few more goals than in previous seasons but that is probably to do with the fact that I am playing more.

    [pullquote]If we can try and push for European places, it would be the highest I’ve manage to finish as a player and that’s our aim.[/pullquote]

    “I’ve also got to acknowledge that football is a team game and you always rely on service. You aim to make good runs and hope people can pick you out and fortunately I am playing in team with lots of ability on that front.

    “My job is to try and score goals, that’s obvious, but the most important thing is the team is doing well.

    “If we can try and push for European places, it would be the highest I’ve manage to finish as a player and that’s our aim.”

     -WATCH JOHN’S INTERVIEW IN FULL ON MFC TV

    MFC TV

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    TV: McCall’s Fir Park focus

    ‘Well boss Stuart McCall insists his only focus is at Fir Park, despite two of his side’s nearest rivals going head to head this weekend.

    Motherwell take on Allan Johnston’s side whilst, at the same time, Aberdeen square off against Dundee United as the race for European places begins to boil.

    However, the Fir Park gaffer is adamant what happens at Pittodrie is of no relevance until after the final whistle, with the most important element being trying to continue the good run of home form in 2014.

    Speaking at a busy press conference twenty-four hours ahead of the match, the 49-year old said: “We’ve just got to keep doing what we’re doing and that is winning as many matches as we can.

    [pullquote]If we can take three points, then we might look elsewhere to see where it has left us but our main, and only, focus is on our own game and trying to win a very difficult match against Kilmarnock.[/pullquote]

    “If you look at the top six teams, everyone is playing well and getting results.

    “People might say Caley have dipped, but they were unfortunate to lose against us and I was at Tannadice on Wednesday and they were probably a little unlucky there too.

    “They are all in form so it’s important we maintain our recent results. Obviously Aberdeen play Dundee United at the weekend and something needs to give there, but we need to come off the park here at ten-to-five having done our job.

    “If we can take three points, then we might look elsewhere to see where it has left us but our main, and only, focus is on our own game and trying to win a very difficult match against Kilmarnock.”

     -WATCH STUART’S INTERVIEW IN FULL ON MFC TV

    MFC TV

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    Kilmarnock Magazine Preview

    The sixteenth domestic Steelmen Matchday Magazine of 2013/14 is on sale when Kilmarnock visit this Saturday.

    But what is inside the 68-page issue?

    ‘Well boss Stuart McCall and Captain Keith Lasley both return with their regular columns.

    The Fir Park gaffer looks back at recent results, chats about what he expects from Killie and evaluates targets as the season draws to a close.

    The skipper talks about the feeling amongst the squad as ‘Well prepare for their third home game on the spin.

    The feature interview is with former Celtic and Queen of the South defender Craig Reid. The 28-year old talks about his determination to succeed at the top level after working hard to get back following his release from the SPFL Champions five years ago.

    ‘Reidy’ also features as the next in the centre-page souvenir poster collection.

    There is the usual extensive section dedicated to our visitors, Kilmarnock Football Club.

    As ever, Ray Morrison introduces Killie and there’s a player-by-player breakdown of who is likely to line up for the Rugby Park side.

    Graeme McGarry’s ‘Us and Them’ feature also returns, speaking to St Johnstone defender Tim Clancy.

    The Irishman talks about his time at both clubs, recalling how his move to Killie came about and the enjoyable and successful year he spent in North Lanarkshire.

    ‘From the Press Box’ is also back with regular host, the Herald’s Scott Mullen and Graham Barnstaple’s two new columns make it again…. They Wear Claret and Amber focuses on Italian giants AS Roma and his ‘Programmes through the Years’ looks back at some of the editions from the 1970s.

    We also have the Eggheads final – with James McFadden taking on Simon Ramsden for the prize of the footy quiz mark.

    ‘This Week in Motherwell History’ focuses on 27th March to 2nd April with an infamous Semi Final defeat to Rangers and a certain Mr JPR Gordon as well as the signing of an old adversary back in 2004.

    But wait, there’s more!

    Our match reports section takes a look back at the 2-1 win over Ross County as well as the Under 20s 3-2 defeat to Dundee United.

    We have the latest from The Ticket Office, Commercial and Community Departments as well as the latest stats, facts and figures from the 2013/2014 campaign.

    We also take a statistical look at the match official and the ‘Junior Steel’ kids page that will test the youngster’s quiz minds with puzzles and ‘Did you know’ facts.

    The programme is available for £3 and is will be on sale from the Club Shop as well as the usual sellers located in and around the ground pre-match.

    You can also order back editions or take a season-long subscription to the magazine by visiting the website of our publishers – Curtis-Sport – CLICK HERE.

  • Archive

    Madden in charge of Killie clash

    Referee for this Saturday’s SPFL Premiership clash with Kilmarnock at Fir Park is Bobby Madden.

    The match will be Bobby’s fifth in charge of the Steelmen this campaign.

    The first was the SPFL opener against Hibs at Easter Road, Henri Anier coming off the bench to net the winner on his league debut.

    The second was the 3-1 win over Ross County back in September when the Fir Parkers came back from a goal down to win courtesy of goals from Bob McHugh and a John Sutton double.

    The third was the 3-0 defeat at Celtic Park last month, when a Kris Commons double and a McManus own-goal handed Celtic all three points. The most recent was the 3-1 defeat at Tannadice in February when John Sutton’s second half penalty wasn’t enough to take any points.

    That match in the City of Discovery was only his eighth ever Motherwell match.

    His first was back in January of the 2011/12 season as the ‘Well slipped to a disappointing 1-0 defeat at home to Inverness, Grégory Tadé grabbing the game’s only goal.

    His second was the thrilling 5-1 win over St Johnstone as Motherwell reaffirmed their grip on third spot in the old SPL. Goals that day from Higdon, Law, Murphy and Henrik Ojamaa’s double all but ended Saints’ hopes of nicking the best of the rest gong that season.

    Last season he also handled two matches. The first was an entertaining 3-3 draw with Aberdeen at Pittodrie.

    Motherwell had raced into a 3-1 lead courtesy of goals from Higdon, Hutchinson and Law but a late Aberdeen fightback handed Craig Brown’s men a draw.

    His second, two months later, was a fine 2-1 win at Tannadice. Michael Higdon opened the scoring before Chris Humphrey rocketed in a second goal of the season contender. Jon Daly pulled one back with his customary goal, but it wasn’t enough as Motherwell held on for the three points.

    The 35-year old has been fourth official on a number of occasions, including Aberdeen in the Scottish Cup last season and the Semi Final with St Johnstone at Hampden.

    The whistler has busy already this campaign, with busy domestic duties topped up with games in the Europa League with Esbjerg fB vs AS Saint-Étienne, KRC Genk vs FC Thun and Lazio vs Apollon Limassol.

    In addition, he handled two UEFA Champions League qualifiers: CS Fola Esch vs GNK Dinamo Zagreb and Austria Vienna vs FH Hafnarfjördur.

    His most recent SPFL appointment was last Friday as Dundee United ran out 2-1 winners at Tynecastle. He was also the man in the middle for Morton’s shock 1-0 win over Celtic in the League Cup back in September.

    Bobby will be ably assisted by Gavin Harris and Graham McNellie with Gavin Duncan on fourth official duties. Referee observer is John Young with John Connolly as SPFL Delegate.

  • Archive

    TV: McFadden wins monthly gong

    Cash Converters is delighted to announce that the February Player of the Month is James McFadden.

    Although it wasn’t a particularly great month for the team, ‘Faddy’ was on form and it was a prelude to a really strong March.

    Lucky Motherwell fan Ewan Lees won the Cash Converters Player of the Month competition and got to congratulate his hero in person.

    Ewan presented James with the award at Fir Park late last week and received a Cash Converters Player of the Month pennant as a souvenir of his experience.

    Look out for the next vote at the end of March to be in with a chance of presenting the award to the winner. Simply visit our Cash Converters SPL Facebook page by CLICKING HERE.

    The Cash Converters Football Facebook page will also give you the opportunity to enter the draw to Convert Your Seat for this weekend’s game against Ross County and the chance to win a whole host of other prizes.

  • Archive

    More youngsters visit Fir Park

    Over 150 kids from eight local youth groups enjoyed Saturday’s 2-1 win over Ross County at Fir Park.

    The Steelmen announced late last year that they were offering free tickets to various youth groups throughout Lanarkshire and, every week, more and more are taking it up.

    On Saturday, boys from various BB companies: 2nd Wishaw, 13th Hamilton, 5th Hamilton, 2nd Larkhall, 1st Strathaven and 1st Bothwell as well as youngsters from the Army Cadets and girls from the 19th Motherwell Brownie pack all enjoyed their day.

    Neil Hawthorn, Officer in Charge, said: “On behalf of the Boys and Officers of 2nd Wishaw BB Junior Section, I’d like to thank Motherwell FC for the tickets for Saturday’s match against Ross County.

    “The Boys all had a great time cheering on the ‘Well and singing some of the songs! It was great to see our lads enjoying themselves and to witness yet another home win, even if we were hanging on a bit at the end!

    “Our Junior Section appears to be a good luck charm as the ‘Well have won on each of our last since visits to Fir Park, stretching all the way back to 2008.

    “Our boys are already asking when we are taking them back to see another game!

    Bob McAuley from 1st Strathaven BBs, added: “I would like to thank everyone at the club for the hospitality shown to our group on Saturday.

    “For some of the boys it was their first experience of a senior football match and they were all impressed with the spectacle and the atmosphere, especially with us being in the proximity of the Ross County fans, who gave great vocal support to their team.

    “I hope that seeing a Motherwell victory will encourage them to come again to a game.”

    If you or your youth group would be keen to build a partnership with Motherwell Football Club and claim complimentary group tickets, contact the Ticket Office Manager Wendy MacFarlane on 01698 333 333 or email ticketing@motherwellfc.co.uk.

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  • Archive

    TV: Highlights from Fir Park

    Extended highlights from Fir Park as goals from John Sutton and James McFadden give well a deserved 2-1 win over Ross County.

    -WATCH THE HIGHLIGHTS EXCLUSIVELY ON MFC TV

    MFC TV

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    Ross County in pictures

    Action pictures from today’s 2-1’s win over Ross County at Fir Park in the SPFL Premiership.

    Snaps courtesy of SNSPix.

    [svgallery name=”rosscounty220314″]

  • Archive

    TV: McCall pleased with County win

    Stuart McCall was pleased with his side’s win against Ross County today, despite a late surge by the Staggies.

    The Steelmen were in control for the majority of the match, with Faroese International Gunnar Nielsen enjoying a quiet afternoon.

    The Fir Parkers had roared into a two-goal lead courtesy of goals from James McFadden and John Sutton and appeared to be cruising home without much both.

    However, defender Yann Songo’o strike eight minutes from time had the home side sweating in the closing stages.

    [pullquote]We have been clinical in front of goal this season and if we had been in the first half the game would have been over sooner.[/pullquote]

    “It was a more nervous finish than it should have been,” McCall said after the match.

    “We have been clinical in front of goal this season and if we had been in the first half the game would have been over sooner.

    “To be fair James McFadden has come in at half-time and admitted he should have been more clinical with his chances but he has grabbed the opener.

    “You always think it could come back and bite you when you don’t take your chances and it would have been a travesty if we hadn’t taken all three so we are delighted with the win.”

    -WATCH STUART’S INTERVIEW IN FULL ON MFC TV

    MFC TV

  • Archive

    Motherwell 2 – 1 Ross County

    [tab:Match report]

    Phil McGhee at Fir Park

    Two early second half goals gave ‘Well a 2-1 win over Ross County at Fir Park this afternoon.

    A good second half performance and early goals from James McFadden and John Sutton, his 19th of the season, set ‘Well up for another home win and three points to keep them tied with Aberdeen in second top spot.

    And although County pulled one back to make it a rather nervous finish, Stuart McCall’s men thoroughly deserved the three points.

    Prior to the game County boss Derek Adam had highlighted defensive weaknesses in the ‘Well set-up but the former Fir Park player seemed more intent in denying the home side space in the visitors penalty area with a pretty defensive game plan.

    In the first half that left the Motherwell players with plenty of time in possession in their own half but a bit restricted as they approached a packed County defence.

    For their part, the Dingwall side seldom tested Gunnar Nielsen’s goal until the final ten minutes – although amazingly Derek Adams claimed they had the best of the first half chances when Jordan Slew fired a shot wide of the post.

    In reality the best chances came at the other end the first after 30 minutes when Shaun Hutchison launched a long free kick into the penalty area. And when Iain Vigurs nod down fell in front of James McFadden he looked certain to score but his cute left foot lob found Mark Brown’s outstretched right hand to make a fine stop.

    The former Motherwell ‘keeper again denied McFadden the opener eight minutes later when the ‘Well striker tried to force Stevie Hammel’s cross inside the post but Brown spread himself to block the shot.

    Keith Lasley then came close with a flashing header from an Ainsworth cross but the County defence stood solid.

    That all changed in the second half, when within three minutes the Fir Park side grabbed the lead to finally open up the game.

    Stuart Carswell carried the ball across the box before laying it back to Vigurs who fired in a thundering 25 yard drive. Although Brown did well to beat the ball out, McFadden was following up to stroke the ball past the grounded ‘keeper to make it 1-0.

    Brown then prevented it becoming two nil pushing away another stinging drive from Vigurs after Hutchison had raced 50 yards upfield with the ball to set up the midfielder.

    The County ‘keeper looked less convincing when he spilled McFadden’s low shot from a well worked free kick. That was the last piece of action for Faddy as he was replaced by Craig Moore after 55 minutes.

    And the 19 year old striker made an immediate impact when he set up ‘Well’s second goal on the hour.

    Although his shot from the area swerved, Brown palmed it out to the waiting Sutton who couldn’t miss from 6 yards, although he did manage to find the net via the underside of the bar.

    Motherwell looked in control at that stage and the more likely to add another goal but in the 78th minute Ritchie Brittain came within inches of getting his side back into the game when he side stepped a couple of defenders before drilling his angled shot off the foot of the post with Nielsen beaten.

    The home side ignored that warning and with eight minutes remaining County pulled one back when Yann Songo’o wonderfully volleyed home Carey’s corner to set up a nervous end.

    As County pressed for an equaliser Slew and Arquin missed a couple of half chances but the game ended without Nielsen having to make a save and ‘Well playing it out for a sixth home win from their last 7 games.

    [tab:As it happened]

    Alastair Reilly at Fir Park

    FT: Motherwell 2 – 1 Ross County #MFCvRCFC

    90+2mins: Vigurs’ does superbly to keep the ball in the County half and win a corner #MFCvRCFC

    3 minutes added on #MFCvRCFC

    88mins: Songo’o fires just past from Saunders’s delivery into the box #MFCvRCFC

    85mins: Ttat goal has now set up a nerve shredding final 5 minutes, despite being comfortable the whole game #MFCvRCFC

    82mins: GOAL! Songo’o pulls one back, tapping in from a corner at the front post . 2-1 #MFCvRCFC

    79mins: Great chance for Francis-Angol to make it 3 but he scuffs his shot well wide from a good position #MFCvRCFC

    78mins: Ross County sub, Saunders on for Cikos #MFCvRCFC

    77mins: Brittain strikes the base of the post with a strike from 15 yards on the angle. #MFCvRCFC

    76mins: Motherwell sub, Ainsworth off for Francis-Angol #MFCvRCFC

    74mins: Bit of a lull in proceedings here. McManus booked for dangerous play #MFCvRCFC

    71mins: Ross County sub, De Leeuw off for Glen #MFCvRCFC

    67mins: Tidser booked for throwing the ball down after disagreeing with Brines’ decision #MFCvRCFC

    63mins: Moore booked for a late challenge on Cikos #MFCvRCFC

    60mins: It’s 2-0 to ‘Well!! SUTTON on hand to tap-in after Brown struggled to deal with Moore’s shot. Similar to the first goal! #MFCvRCFC

    GGGOOOAAALLL!!!

    56mins: Motherwell sub, Moore on for McFadden #MFCvRCFC

    54mins: McFadden and Vigurs work one off the training ground but Faddy’s shot is easily taken by Brown #MFCvRCFC

    54mins: Free-kick to ‘Well in a great position, 20 yards out on the right #MFCvRCFC

    52mins: An adventurous run from Hutchinson sets up Vigurs whose powerful shot is beaten away by Brown #MFCvRCFC

    49mins: Ross County sub, Kiss limps off for Carey #MFCvRCFC

    47mins: McFADDEN follows up Brown’s save from Vigurs’ long range cracker and taps it in! 1-0 #MFCvRCFC

    GGGOOAAALLLL!!!

    Second half underway. It’s been pouring it down over the interval #MFCvRCFC

    HT: Motherwell 0 – 0 Ross County #MFCvRCFC

    44mins: Good opportunity for County but Arquin’s cross can’t find Slew who was waiting to tap it home #MFCvRCFC

    39mins: 2 great chances for ‘Well! First McFadden is denied from close range by Brown then Sutton curls a shot just past #MFCvRCFC

    33mins: Carswell darts forward and Vigurs sets him up just inside the box. On his weaker foot, hooks it well over #MFCvRCFC

    31mins: Best chance of the game there! McFadden gets a toe on the end of Sutton’s knockdown but Brown does well to deny him! #MFCvRCFC

    29mins: ‘Well win a corner but Hutchinson can’t get his header at the front post on target #MFCvRCFC

    28mins: Ball drops kindly to Slew who drives his shot inches wide of Nielsen’s left post from 16 yards #MFCvRCFC

    24mins: Corner to County, headed clear at the front post by Lasley #MFCvRCFC

    22mins: Free-kick to County wide on the left. Nielsen does well to gather Brittain’s delivery #MFCvRCFC

    17mins: Ainsworth”s delivery into the box is a little too long for McFadden who stretches to head it but see’s it go well wide #MFCvRCFC

    15mins: Free-kick to ‘Well about 35 yards out on the left wing.Vigur’s delivery is gathered by Brown #MFCvRCFC

    13mins: Decent effort by Sutton on his left foot but had a better option in McFadden just waiting to be slid in. Chance gone #MFCvRCFC

    8mins: Corner for ‘Well but McManus’ header at the front post is blocked #MFCvRCFC

    Tidser and Brittain get the game underway #MFCvRCFC

    [tab:Reaction]

    Motherwell manager Stuart McCall:

    “It was a more nervous finish than it should have been.

    “We have been clinical in front of goal this season and if we had been in the first half the game would have been over sooner.

    “To be fair James McFadden has come in at half-time and admitted he should have been more clinical with his chances but he has grabbed the opener.

    “You always think it could come back and bite you when you don’t take your chances and it would have been a travesty if we hadn’t taken all three so we are delighted with the win.”

    Ross County manager Derek Adams:

    “Motherwell are a good side and flying high but it was two errors by our keeper that has given them their two goals. Mark Brown has taken responsibility and when your keeper plays the ball back straight to the opposition there is not much the other defenders can do.

    “Although it didn’t cost us with all the terms around us also losing, we are only interested in looking after ourselves to get out of the relegation play-off position.”

    [tab:Man-of-the-match]

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