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    TV: Black desperate for home win

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    TV: Vigurs keen to make his mark

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    McLean to officiate United clash

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    Scottish Cup: Ticket Information

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    TV: Highlights from Excelsior Stadium

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    TV: Johansson annoyed by insipid ‘Well

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    Motherwell U20s 1 – 4 St Mirren U20s

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    Scottish Cup 4th Round draw

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    A message from Stuart McCall

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    Club Statement: Stuart McCall

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    TV: Black desperate for home win

    Caretaker boss Kenny Black has spoke of his determination to finally get Motherwell’s season up and running.

    Black, who has formed one half of one of the club’s most successful management teams in history, will hold the fort after previous boss Stuart McCall stepped down from his role last Sunday night.

    The former Motherwell midfielder has faced a difficult job of lifting a shell-shocked squad, but has urged his players to finally put their words into action.

    [pullquote]We’ve got to go out there, it’s live on TV, and lay down a marker and bring a positive end to what has been a difficult week.[/pullquote]

    Speaking to a packed press conference, the 50-year old said: “The whole club needs a lift and that can come from a positive result against Dundee United.

    “The time for talking is now gone, we now need to see it on the park. I felt we started to do that against St Johnstone last Friday but, ultimately, the result at full-time was another defeat.

    “That needs rectified sooner rather than later. We’ve got to go out there, it’s live on TV, and lay down a marker and bring a positive end to what has been a difficult week.

    “We know how difficult it will be against a United side who are the on-form club in the country. However, it’s a perfect opportunity for us to play against the league leaders and make some sort of statement about our intent.”

    MFC TV

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    TV: Vigurs keen to make his mark

    Iain Vigurs reckons ‘Well players will have an added incentive when they take on high-flying Dundee United tomorrow.

    Not only is the former Ross County man, and his teammates, desperate to turn round Motherwell’s poor start to the season, he is aware that Stuart McCall’s replacement is likely to be watching on.

    Fir Park was rocked with the news this week that McCall, who was the second longest serving manager in Scottish football, opted to stand down and let someone else manage the side.

    Although the process has not long kicked off, there has been significant interest and with the game being beamed across the UK and beyond on BT Sport, Vigurs sees tomorrow’s match against Dundee United as the ideal game in that scenario.

    [pullquote]The players will all want to put on a big performance and show everyone they are prepared to fight for their position and for the team.[/pullquote]

    Speaking to the broadcast press ahead of the match, the 26-year old said: “It’s safe to say that whoever is likely to take over will be watching on Friday, so that’s another added incentive for the players, I suppose.

    “We all want to put in a big performance and show everyone we are prepared to fight for our position and for the team, as we know we left the previous gaffer down.

    “It’s a good game to have actually. We’ll be the underdogs; no one will expect much from us given their form and league position.

    “The opportunity is for us to go out there, show everyone what we can do, what we are capable of, enjoy it and hopefully come away with a good positive result.”

    MFC TV

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    McLean to officiate United clash

    Referee for Friday’s SPFL Premiership game with Dundee Utd at Fir Park will be Steven McLean.

    It will be McLean’s third ‘Well appointment of the season have previously handled the 0-2 home defeat to Inverness in mid August and the win at Ross County in early September, John Sutton and Iain Vigurs getting the goals that day.

    Incredibly, he was in charge of seven Motherwell matches in the SPFL Premiership last year – three of the seven won’t live long in the memory; one will be cherished forever.

    The first of those to forget was back in November, when a depleted Steelmen crashed 4-0 at home to Dundee United. One month later, as ‘Well were already hurting from a Scottish Cup exit, he was the man in the middle for Celtic’s 5-0 win at Fir Park.

    Thankfully, he handled our 5-1 win at Firhill in late December but also the controversial 2-2 draw with Aberdeen at Fir Park.

    ‘Well were holding out in the face of intense Aberdeen pressure and looked to have saw the match out, but a late Russell Anderson equaliser levelled things up.

    He also handled the 3-3 draw at Easter Road when ‘Well threw away a two-goal lead but still showed tremendous character to net late on to save a draw.

    He also officiated the 5-1 demolition at Tannadice when Lionel Ainsworth’s late conciliation goal was the only ray of light in an otherwise horrible afternoon in Tayside.

    The last was the final game of last season at Pittodrie when Craig Reid’s 91st minute winner game Motherwell the win they needed to seal second and spark incredible celebrations that will rival any moment in Motherwell’s recent history. Maybe decisions do even themselves out over a season after all?

    His overall record in charge of Motherwell reads twelve wins, six defeats and two draws from twenty matches. In those games, ‘Well have scored 43 and conceded 36. 50 cautions have been dished out, 31 flashed at those wearing Claret and Amber.

    Four people have been sent off, two for ‘Well (Fraser Kerr and Keith Lasley in the same match against Killie last year).

    McLean will be ably assisted by Ross Haswell and Kylie McMullan with Kevin Graham on fourth official duties. Referee observer is Gerry Evans and SPFL Delegate will be Alan Dick.

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    Scottish Cup: Ticket Information

    Motherwell FC is pleased to confirm admission prices ahead of the Scottish Cup 4th Round clash later this month.

    ‘Well are set to take on Dundee United in a repeat of the famous 91’ Final on Saturday 29th November at Fir Park Stadium (3pm kick-off).

    Both clubs have agreed on the prices with admission available on the gate priced at:

    ADULTS:   £15 
    CONCESSIONS:                           £10
    UNDER 16s:    £5
    • Concessions are listed as 60 and over and full time students with a valid matriculation card.
    • Juveniles are listed as 15 and under.
    • Season Ticket holders can reserve their regular seat by pre-paying tickets from the Fir Park Ticket Office, either in person or over the phone. Tickets will be available from 12 noon this Friday (7th November).
    • Season Tickets are NOT valid for the match.

    Commenting, General Manager Alan Burrows said: “We have a great relationship with Dundee United off the park and very much look forward to locking horns on it.

    “We have worked closely with our colleagues at Tannadice to price this match accordingly and hope it will generate a typically large, noisy and colourful atmosphere at all ends of Fir Park on the day of the match.

    “Scottish Cup fixtures are always that little bit more special, and given the history between the two clubs, this one will, no doubt, be the same.”

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    TV: Highlights from Excelsior Stadium

    Highlights from Excelsior Stadium as a tired-looking Motherwell slumped to a 1-4 defeat at the hands of St Mirren.

    MFC TV

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    TV: Johansson annoyed by insipid ‘Well

    Jonatan Johansson spoke of his anger as a poor Motherwell slipped lost 1-4 at home to St Mirren.

    After a battling and energy-sapping 90 minutes on Sunday against Celtic in the Youth Cup, the players looked mentally and physically fatigued almost from the first minute.

    Saints were in no mood for mercy and Barry Cuddihy, Josh Beattie and a double from Robbie Mitchell. Motherwell did score via Chris Cadden, but it was the only bright moment in an otherwise dark, and bitterly cold, night at the Excelsior Stadium.

    [pullquote]The players have ready-made ‘excuses’ for today what with the game on Sunday and some of the upheaval in the last 48 hours. But to get through that, you need strong minds and we didn’t have that.[/pullquote]

    The Finn told MFC TV after the match: “That was one of the worst we have been in some time.

    “The players have ready-made ‘excuses’ for today what with the game on Sunday and some of the upheaval in the last 48 hours. But to get through that, you need strong minds and we didn’t have that.

    “In all areas of the game, there was nothing good to say. As a coach, you tend to learn a lot from defeat and you learn a lot about players, particularly how they react. That’s what we will be looking at and go forward with.”

    MFC TV

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    Motherwell U20s 1 – 4 St Mirren U20s

    Motherwell U20s slumped to a 1-4 home defeat at the hands of an impressive St Mirren this evening.

    The Steelmen were second best throughout the ninety minutes, and were perhaps lucky to only lose by a three-goal margin.

    Saints were slick and pacey in attack and Barry Cuddihy, Josh Beattie and a double from Robbie Mitchell did the damage – Chris Cadden’s goal for ‘Well was little more than a temporary consolation.

    There can be little doubt the young ‘Well were suffering from their exertions at Greenock on Sunday, together with the emotion of dealing with the resignation of first-team boss Stuart McCall.

    Jonatan Johansson made four changes to the side that lost on Sunday, with Ross Stewart, Jack McMillan, Josh Watt and Dylan Mackin dropping out, replaced by Max Currie, Danny McNulty, Ben Hall and Liam Anderson.

    However, it would be Saints who would start on the front foot and they had a couple of shots blocked before taking the lead after just six minutes. An excellent cross from the left-flank was perfect for the late arrival of midfielder Cuddihy, who ghosted in between the ‘Well defensive line to head home from close range.

    Motherwell’s reply came through Anderson, who curled an effort at goal that was held by Mark Fodden before Ross MacLean tumbled in the area, but despite half-hearted shouts for a spot kick, the referee was having none of it.

    ‘Well then passed up what would turn out to be a crucial chance when Cadden played a one-two with MacLean, only to turn his eight-yard shot wide of the left-hand post.

    It was crucial, as, shortly after, Saints had doubled their advantage.

    They had fired a warning shot across the bow when Conor O’Keefe had the ball in the net, only to be thwarted by the assistant’s flag. However, there was no saving the ‘Well when Josh Beattie made it 0-2 just before the half hour.

    The fullback collected the ball after productive work down the right flank and he smashed a low shot through a ruck of players and under Max Currie to give the Fir Parkers a real uphill task.

    ‘Well tried to mix it up, introducing Dylan Mackin into the fold in place of Steven Higgins and the big striker headed over a Ferguson cross just before the break as the score remained at 0-2.

    Just twenty seconds after the restart, Ricky Waddell’s side could have made it three when Lewis Morgan raced clear of the Claret and Amber rearguard, but couldn’t beat the outrushing Currie who stood up well to make the block.

    Currie was again on hand to deny Saints nine minutes later, Lewis McLear wriggled clear of the last man only to see his shot well stopped by the young keeper.

    Only luck would stop Saints from the resulting corner though, Cuddihy so close to his second, only to watch his close range effort cannon back off the frame of the goal.

    The visitors in black and white continued to threaten though and Morgan fired another two shots over the bar before Adam Brown passed up a chance to score after a neat cutback had him in a great position in the middle of the goal, on to snatch at the shot which screwed wide.

    McLear had another effort over before Saints did eventually make it three-nil, substitute Robbie Mitchell rounding off an impressive move with an equally as impressive finish, lifting the ball over Currie and into the net.

    ‘Well did grab a consolation a minute later when Danny McNulty’s neat little ball into the area caused confusion for the goalkeeper with Ryan Watters close by, allowing Chris Cadden to steal in at the back post and smash home into an empty net.

    However, any hopes of a miraculous comeback were quickly extinguished when Mitchell added his second, and Saints’ fourth, near the end, racing onto a long ball over the top to slip past Currie and into the net.

    It ended what was a miserable night for the Fir Parkers, who haven’t played as badly all season. They will hope to bounce back when they face an away trip to Dundee United next week.

    Motherwell: Currie, McNulty, Ferguson, Hall, Neill, McCall (Watters – 80mins), Anderson, Cadden, Higgins (Mackin – 34mins), Thomas, McLean

    Subs Not Used: Stewart, McMillan, Watt, Leitch, Campbell

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    Scottish Cup 4th Round draw

    Motherwell have been drawn to face Dundee Utd at Fir Park in the Fourth Round of the William Hill Scottish Cup.

    The tie is due to be played on 29th November.

    4th ROUND DRAW IN FULL:

    St Johnstone v Ross County

    St Mirren v Inverness CT

    Hurlford Utd/Stirling Albion v Raith Rovers

    Rangers v Kilmarnock

    Heart of Midlothian v Celtic

    Queen of the South v Brora Rangers

    Stranraer v Dunfermline Athletic

    Elgin City or Bo’ness Utd v Arbroath

    Falkirk v Cowdenbeath

    Spartans v Greenock Morton or Airdrionians

    Berwick Rangers v Albion Rovers

    Dundee v Aberdeen

    Annan Atheltic v Brechin City

    Ayr Utd or Alloa Athletic v Hibernian

    Motherwell v Dundee Utd

    Partick Thistle v Hamilton Academical

  • Archive

    A message from Stuart McCall

    Before speaking to anyone else, I would like to send my final correspondence as Motherwell manager directly to the most important people, you, the supporters.

    It’s fair to say that the last 24 hours or so have been incredibly difficult and emotional for me personally. However, it has also given me time to reflect on what has been a wonderful four years.

    I’ve enjoyed terrific highs throughout – my first season we beat Celtic, turned in excellent Scottish Cup Quarter and Semi Final performances before getting to Hampden. Seeing what getting to a National Final meant to the fans, but also the town itself is something that will live with me forever.

    I think back to the night we beat Hearts to qualify for the Champions League then the atmosphere at Fir Park for that game against Panathinaikos. For a lot of our players, that was the highlight of their career playing at that level.

    We’ve managed to beat Celtic three times at Fir Park, including back-to-back wins. I remember coming back from 2-0 down at Easter Road to win and no one will ever forget that game at Pittodrie in the last game of the campaign. That will go down as one of the best days I’ve ever had in football.

    You think back to those games and others with real enjoyment and satisfaction, but not just for ourselves, for what it did for you as supports and the highs they brought. We scored over 120 league goals in the last two seasons, so there have been plenty of positives.

    Don’t get me wrong, managers always hold on defeats longer than victories and I acknowledge there have been some hugely disappointing lows. I suppose, in hindsight, I wish I had enjoyed the victories more at the time, but I was always too focused on the next game. I just hope the amount of highs cancel out some of the disappointments when people look back at what we’ve achieved here.

    We then come to this season, which has been a huge disappointment and my ultimate decision to step down yesterday. After the win at Ross County and the performance at Celtic Park, there was a real belief that we could get our confidence back and kick on, but the defeat at Hamilton in the Cup, and in particular, the manner of it, really knocked the stuffing out of us.

    I struggled to sleep after Friday’s game with St Johnstone then woke up again during the night Saturday into Sunday, thinking about the Dundee United game and I just couldn’t come up with any answers. I felt that with the International break coming up, now would be a good time to step aside to allow the club time.

    I have a hope that with a fresh voice and maybe some new ideas, it will give the players that little boost they need. I felt that if I didn’t have the same hunger or desire, if I was deflated, then the players would sense that and that’s not what they, or the club, needs at this point.

    I remember saying at Bradford prior to leaving that I take defeats really badly and carry it with me for a long time. This season has been difficult and when you become apprehensive about the next game, that’s your body’s way of telling you that maybe things have come to an end.

    Both as a player and manager, you should work all week and really look forward to matches, but if you have that negativity in your head, it’s difficult and I don’t want that to make our situation any worse. I care too much about the place and the people who work here.

    I would like to finish by thanking some people who have been invaluable to me. First, to the board – Derek Weir and others – who gave me a chance to manage this fantastic football club. They have all been hugely supportive through both good and bad times.

    To all the staff I’ve worked beside: Kenny Black, Gordon Marshall, Jonatan Johansson, Adam Stokes, John Porteous and latterly Aileen Anderson, Alan MacDonald, Bobby Jenks, Scott Leitch, and before him Gordon Young. We’ve been a really close-knit, tight unit who has worked hard through it all and I want to put on record my thanks for all their terrific work and effort.

    To the players, both current and past, who have represented themselves and the club so fantastically and achieved so much. You can talk all you like about tactics, formations and shape, but it’s footballers that win you games and they have been outstanding.

    I would also like to acknowledge all the superbly dedicated and hard-working staff that work at the club.

    Alan Burrows, who has been a great help to me throughout my whole time in both his roles, and the two guys in media, Ross Clarkson and Ally Reilly, who have contributed more than anyone will know to the success of this club in recent times. Karen Paterson, the football administrator, has been a huge source of advice and guidance too over the years.

    To Elaine and all the groundstaff, the kitchen and office staff – each one of them have been a pleasure to work beside and made coming in to Fir Park so enjoyable. I will miss them all.

    And finally to you, the supporters. I’ve enjoyed an excellent rapport with you all and I hope some of the great days and nights we’ve had together over the last four years have made supporting this football club an enjoyable experience.

    The group of young guys in the corner has given home matches a heart, a soul and an atmosphere and it’s fair to say Motherwell FC is certainly a club that gets under your skin.

    I would ask you all to rally around the club and the players in the next few weeks and months. We’ve achieved everything with hard work, dedication and a real togetherness and that’s particularly the case when things aren’t going right.

    Nothing would give more pleasure if I am back up the road next May with my Claret and Amber scarf, with the team having picked up in the league, watching ‘Well at the Scottish Cup Final once again.

    It’s been a pleasure. Thanks for the memories.

    So long and farewell.

    Stuart McCall

  • Archive

    Club Statement: Stuart McCall

    Motherwell FC can announce Stuart McCall has resigned from his position as manager.

    McCall, who was appointed in December 2010 and was the second longest serving manager in Scottish senior football, informed the board of his decision late this afternoon.

    The 40-times capped former Scotland midfielder has overseen a period of incredible success at Fir Park, including taking Motherwell into the Scottish Cup Final in 2011, then three ‘Best of the Rest’ finishes in the Scottish top flight.

    As manager, he smashed a number of long-standing records, including for games won, goals scored, clean sheets and points accumulated; the 50-year old also led Motherwell into the UEFA Champions League for the first and only time back in 2012.

    In contrast, the current season hasn’t started as well as anyone would like.

    Speaking on behalf of the Board, Derek Weir, who was instrumental in McCall’s appointment, said: “Everyone at Motherwell FC would like to sincerely thank Stuart for his contribution to the club, which will go down as one of the most successful managerial tenures in our 128-year history.

    “We have been acutely aware of results this season, but everyone at Fir Park was confident in his, and the team’s, ability to turn things around.

    “However, following a long conversation this afternoon, Stuart felt it better for all concerned if he stepped down with immediate effect and we respect that.

    “Assistant manager Kenny Black will take charge of first-team team affairs in a caretaker role to allow the board to start the process of recruiting a new manager, which will begin right away.”