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    Ramsden urges patient approach

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    McCall’s Europa League hope

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    Europa League Tickets: Still on sale

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    Beautiful Sunday fun day

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    John Porteous departs for Hibs

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    Travel to Iceland with the club

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    McCall satisfied with Fulham workout

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    Fulham defeat in pictures

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    Motherwell 0 – 2 Fulham

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    Ainsworth itching for Fulham contest

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    Ramsden urges patient approach

    Simon Ramsden has called for patience when the Steelmen face Stjarnan in the Europa League on Thursday.

    Ramsden makes his comeback on Thursday from knee surgery in January that was meant to keep him out for four weeks, only for a complication in surgery to force another two operations and end his season.

    But the 32-year-old will not make any rash bursts forward against the Icelandic side in the second qualifying round at Fir Park.

    Ramsden said: “It’s probably a totally different outlook this match compared to the games we’ve played in previously where we weren’t necessarily the favourites.

    “It’s swung round a bit where the onus is on us to go out there and get a victory to take to Iceland. But, as anyone saw in the Celtic game last night, it’s not always as straightforward as people presume.

    “No doubt they will be coming to sit in and make it difficult for us to get the victory so we might have to be very patient and when we get the chance to capitalise on space we need to make the most of it and get some goals to take over there.”

    Motherwell have not scored in their last seven European matches but Ramsden will not worry if a goal does not come quickly.

    “People have said they are going to sit in but it’s up to us to break them down,” he said.

    [pullquote]The game doesn’t have to be won in the first five minutes. The game is over two legs and whether it takes to halfway through the second half or even if it’s in the second leg, we just need to be focused and patient and wait for the chances to come.[/pullquote]

    “But the game doesn’t have to be won in the first five minutes. The game is over two legs and whether it takes to halfway through the second half or even if it’s in the second leg, we just need to be focused and patient and wait for the chances to come.”

    Motherwell have been caught out in their last two European adventures by counter-attacks after dominating large periods of home games against Panathinaikos, Levante and Kuban Krasnodar.

    “That’s the difference at this level, when you do get a chance you have got to take it,” he said. “We did have some great periods against Panathinaikos when we were well on top, and then the sucker punch came and they hit us on the break.

    “I don’t think you can afford to give some of these European sides too many chances because they will hurt you.

    “We want to be positive and get a lead and take some goals into the second leg but we also have to be very wary that they don’t hit us on the counter-attack.”

    Ramsden, who is likely to line up at centre-half following the departure of Shaun Hutchinson, is eager to make up for lost time after an impressive run at right-back was cut short last season.

    “Everybody at the club can’t wait for the game , it’s been in our minds all pre-season but this is my first competitive game for six months so I’ve been looking forward to getting that buzz of playing competitive football again,” he said.

    “It was a frustrating time but a lot of footballers have been in that boat and I intend to bounce back from it.”

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    McCall’s Europa League hope

    ‘Well boss Stuart McCall hopes he can get off the mark in Europe after three years of disappointment.

    The Steelmen have been handed extremely tough draws in recent times with Greek giants Panathinaikos, La Liga cracks Levante and super-rich Russians Kuban Krasnodar the last three opponents, leading to consecutive eliminations.

    Although tomorrow’s challengers might not have the same European reputation as the aforementioned, McCall is certain his side face a very difficult task.

    Unbeaten Stjarnan sit second in the Úrvalsdeild after eleven matches, with six wins and five draws to their name.

    And although the Fir Park boss has sounded a note of caution, he is desperate for his side to progress from the tie.

    [pullquote]People will have us down as favourites but they are certainly no mugs. They are a well-drilled, fit, disciplined side. I’ve read in the paper that they will come here and sit-in, but they have attacking players who are more than capable of hurting us.[/pullquote]

    Speaking to the gathered press at ‘Well’s pre-match news conference, he said: “We want to improve on the results we’ve had of late in Europe, however the standard of teams we have faced has been top notch.

    “Having watched Stjarnan play, we all know it will be a tough, tough game.

    “People will have us down as favourites but they are certainly no mugs. They are a well-drilled, fit, disciplined side. I’ve read in the paper that they will come here and sit-in, but they have attacking players who are more than capable of hurting us.

    “We have got to learn our lesson from previous European games where we have been on top, then have been picked off on the counter-attack. Stjarnan are top scorers in the league and certainly possess a threat. Whether they want to sit-in or not, it’s part and parcel of the game, especially in European football.

    “That said, we’re at home and the onus is on us to go and try to win the match. At this stage, I would take any sort of victory, regardless of the scoreline.”

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    Europa League Tickets: Still on sale

    -TICKET OFFICE IS OPEN TO 7.30pm WEDNESDAY AND TO KICK-OFF ON THURSDAY-

    Europa League Second Qualifying Round 1st Leg tickets are still on full general sale.

    The draw was made in Nyon, pitting ‘Well against Icelanders Stjarnan FC after they disposed of Bangor City 8-0 in the First Qualifying Round.

    ‘Well will be at Fir Park on Thursday 17th July with the return leg in Iceland one week later – CLICK HERE FOR CLUB CHARTER INFORMATION.

    Tickets had been on sale to Season Ticket holders for several weeks but that exclusivity period finished and they are now on full general sale.

    Fans renewing their Season Ticket will also be able to purchase their European ticket at the same time, if they so choose.

    Prices for the match have been set at:

    Adult:  £25
    Concession:                              £15
    Juvenile:  £10
    Family 1:  £30
    Family 2:  £40
    • Concessions are listed as Over 60s and Full Time Students with a valid matriculation.
    • Juveniles are listed as Under 16s.
    • A Family 1 ticket consists of x1 Adult and x1 Juvenile.
    • A Family 2 ticket consists of x1 Adult and x2 Juveniles.
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    Beautiful Sunday fun day

    Motherwell FC is all set for another fun-day in Motherwell Town Centre, with Club partners Cash Convertors, on Sunday 20th July.

    The event will take place between 1-3pm with music, special give-aways, prizes and lots of fun. Our objective is to highlight and raise money for “Dreams Come True”, a charity for terminal and seriously ill children.

    The event will culminate with a community flash dance in which kids, mums, dads, grannies and grandads will all be able to take part. We hope that we can involve as many adults and children as possible to take part ‘en-mass’ and get everyone in the Town Centre to do The Slosh!

    The Motherwell ‘flash dance’ will be shown via You Tube and other media broadcasting agencies in an effort to promote the fact that we ALL have a responsibility to safeguard and protect every child in our community and is set to be shown after the summer holidays.

    Adults and kids alike can also take part in the fans favourite, Giant Football Challenge.

    In order to raise funds for this worthwhile cause there will be a bucket collection on the day and anyone taking part in the activities will be asked for a small donation.

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    John Porteous departs for Hibs

    Motherwell FC can today confirm physiotherapist John Porteous has left the club in order to take up a similar role at Hibernian.

    John, more affectionately known at Fir Park as ‘JP’, joined the club under Tommy McLean in 1991 and has been a fantastic servant for almost twenty-three unbroken years.

    He served eleven managers in that time – the aforementioned McLean as well as Alex McLeish, Harri Kampman, Billy Davies, Eric Black, Terry Butcher, Maurice Malpas, Mark McGhee, Jim Gannon, Craig Brown and latterly, Stuart McCall.

    Everyone at Motherwell Football Club would like to thank John immensely for his unrivalled service and wish him continued success with his future career in the Capital.

    As a replacement, the club is pleased to announce John’s colleague, Adam Stokes, has been promoted and a new assistant physiotherapist will be recruited.

    An extremely hard-working, conscientious and talented physio, Adam has been working as understudy for three years at the club and his appointment provides real continuity within the department.

    Adam takes up his role immediately with the full support of everyone at Fir Park.

  • Archive

    Travel to Iceland with the club

    Motherwell face Icelanders Stjarnan in the Europa League 2nd Qualifying Round, Second Leg and the club is running a charter.

    The package costs £595 inclusive of accommodation, all transport to and from the stadium and a match ticket.

    If you are interested, we can assure you of a really great experience travelling on the official charter flight and with the group at large.

    Previous trips have been well organised, with many already pre-booked having travelled before with the club. The flight would leave Glasgow early on Wednesday and return to Scotland immediately after the match.

    Essentially all you have to do is turn up on the day and we’ll look after the rest for you.

    To book your spot in yet another Motherwell European adventure then please contact Jennifer Reston on 01698 333333 or email jennifer.reston@motherwellfc.co.uk.

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    McCall satisfied with Fulham workout

    Stuart McCall was pleased with aspects of today’s friendly with Fulham despite ‘Well’s 0-2 defeat at Fir Park.

    The Cottagers merited their victory but in their first ‘official’ pre-season fixture of the campaign, there was enough positives to take from the game.

    ‘Well enjoyed spells of good possession, looked tidy on the ball and created several decent half-chances throughout.

    Fulham, to their credit, created a little more in front of goal and worked Twardzik more to run out deserved winners.

    However, the 40-times capped for Scotland midfielder was satisfied with the match ahead of Thursday’s Europa League 2nd Qualifying Round clash with Icelanders Stjarnan.

    [pullquote]Obviously you don’t want to lose football games but we played some nice stuff. At times they dominated but I also thought we had spells when we were on top as well.[/pullquote]

    Speaking to MFC TV, he said: “I enjoyed large spells of the game but we knew it would be a stern test. It’s disappointing to lose a set-piece goal but, otherwise, we played some really nice football and got into some good areas.

    “The bigger picture is that it’s another 90 minutes under the belts which we needed prior to Thursday’s game.

    “Obviously you don’t want to lose football games but we played some nice stuff. At times they dominated but I also thought we had spells when we were on top as well.

    “Focus now turns to Thursday. We haven’t discussed them too much but certainly come Thursday everyone will know about their strengths and weaknesses.”

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    Fulham defeat in pictures

    Action pictures from this afternoon’s 2-0 pre-season friendly defeat by Fulham at Fir Park.

    Snaps courtesy of SNSPix.

    [svgallery name=”fulham120714″]

  • Archive

    Motherwell 0 – 2 Fulham

    Motherwell lost 0-2 to an impressive Fulham side in their final preparation match prior to Thursday’s Euro tie against Stjarnan.

    The Steelmen showed some good touches, had some positive periods in possession and carved out some half chances, but the opposition was worthy of their victory.

    Cameron Burgess opened the scoring when he headed home Chris David’s corner in the first half before Kostas Stafylidis added a second after the break with a shot from distance.

    All in all, it was a good workout for the Fir Parkers who now must up their game against the unbeaten Icelandic side in five days time.

    Stuart McCall named a familiar looking side with summer recruit Dan Twardzik the only “newcomer” in Claret and Amber.

    Felix Magath handed a debut to former Steelmen favourite Ross McCormack, who partnered young Moussa Dembélé in attack.

    There was also an emotional homecoming for Shaun Hutchinson, the big Geordie having left for London just over a month ago after seven years at Fir Park.

    It was the tourists who started the brighter and forced an early corner, but the Well rearguard held firm.

    Indeed, it was the Claret and Amber men who created the first real opportunity of the half when Iain Vigurs’ effort at goal was flicked on by Bob McHugh, only to drop inches wide of the post.

    Motherwell showed more attacking invention but it was the Whites who took the lead on the 20th minute. Chris David’s beautiful corner was perfect for Cameron Burgess who powered a header into the far corner.

    The home side looked for an instant reply through McHugh but his shot stung the palms of Cottagers keeper Marcus Bettinelli.

    Both sides continued to create in what was an entertaining first half. McCormack forced Twardzik into a good punch before David curled a free-kick just wide. Christensen was also unlucky to watch his 25-yard strike fly inches over the crossbar.

    Down the other end, Sutton fired over after some positive play down the left flank.

    Into the second half and after numerous half-time changes, Fulham doubled their lead. Kostas Stafylidis collected from distance and his fierce shot wasn’t properly dealt with by Twardzik, only for the wet ball squirm agonizingly over the line.

    The game hit a bit of a lull with both sides ringing the changes.

    Iain Vigurs brought things back to life on the 71st minute with a stinging low volley that forced the keeper into a good save following excellent build up on the left flank from Stevie Hammell, sub Dom Thomas and Keith Lasley.

    As the game reached its conclusion, it was Fulham who finished the stronger. Twardzik made an excellent stop to deny McCormack with nine minutes left before again saving from both Bangna then Williams from close range.

    Motherwell: Twardzik, Reid (Kerr – 72mins), Hammell, Carswell (Leitch – 76mins), Ramsden, McManus, Ainsworth (Francis-Angol – 46mins (Thomas – 55mins)), Sutton (Erwin – 76mins), Vigurs (Cadden – 76mins), Lasley, McHugh (Law – 46mins)

  • Archive

    Ainsworth itching for Fulham contest

    Lionel Ainsworth admits the squad can’t get wait to get back into footballing action against Fulham tomorrow.

    After three weeks of fitness work and four bounce matches, the Fir Parkers set it up a few gears when Felix Magath’s side are in town tomorrow.

    Not only do the Cottagers have numerous International quality players in their side, they have two ex ‘Well favourites in Shaun Hutchinson and Ross McCormack.

    Speaking to the gathered press, Ainsworth said: “We’ve had a few tough weeks training and some competitive bounce matches but everyone is really looking forward to this one.

    [pullquote]We’ve had a few tough weeks training and some competitive bounce matches but everyone is really looking forward to this one.[/pullquote]

    “I don’t think any player would say they enjoy pre-season but as they go, it’s been good so far.

    “You can see in training the lads are ready to go and we hope to use the Fulham game to bounce in into the European match against Stjarnan.”

    Asked if he was looking forward to a 50/50 tackle with his former teammate Hutchinson, he joked: “I’ll beat him to the ball!

    “In all seriousness, it’s a brilliant opportunity for Hutchy (Hutchinson) to go down there. It’s a great club and he’s a great guy and if he gets his chance, I am sure he’ll shine.

    “Everyone knows what he did for the club here over a number of years and everyone wishes him all the very best and hopes he goes on to bigger and better things.”