Motherwell FC is today delighted to confirm the appointment of Ian Baraclough as the club’s 23rd manager.
After a rigorous interview process, Baraclough was the outstanding candidate, with the Board hugely impressed by his vision and plans for both on and off the field.
The 44-year old enjoyed a 20-year playing career with the likes of Leicester City, Wigan Athletic and Queen’s Park Rangers, before finishing at Scunthorpe United in 2008.
When Nigel Adkins was appointed Irons manager in November 2006, Baraclough was made first-team coach, a role he later gave up playing to concentrate on.
When Adkins left for Southampton, Ian was made manager of the then Championship side, but in difficult circumstances, left six months later.
He then joined SSE Airtricity League side Sligo Rovers and led them to one of their most successful periods ever.
Despite taking over the day before the start of the campaign, The Bit o’ Red won the league for the first time in 34 years, pipping Drogheda United to the title and leading his side in the UEFA Champions League qualifiers.
In his second season, Sligo once again qualified for Europe, finishing third in the table, five points behind winners St Patrick’s. However, success came in the shape of the FAI Cup, which they won by beating Drogheda in the final.
His third and final season brought more success, this time completing the set by winning the all-Ireland Setanta Cup, beating Dundalk 1-0 in the Final, the first time the club had ever lifted that trophy.
After leaving Sligo, Baraclough has been doing extensive scouting for Huddersfield Town, a similar role to what he performed at Watford when he was between jobs previously, and brings a wealth of contacts to the role.
Speaking exclusively to motherwellfc.co.uk, Baraclough said: “I am delighted and find myself in a privileged position. I’ve done some research into the history of the club and I know how well the football club has done, certainly over recent years. It will be a hard task to take over from Stuart but one I’m very excited to take up.
“I’m a positive guy and I’m upbeat most of the time. The players will find that and I’ll try and get that across to them. I want this club to feel energised and start climbing the table as soon as possible.
“I want players to be comfortable on the ball and not give up possession easily. I want the players to be full of expression and play with a freedom, which they will enjoy. They have got to be hard working though. I demand hard work and honesty from players and I think most fans can relate to that. If they can see players putting in a shift, they can forgive mistakes. They will make mistakes but if they are trying the right things in the right areas then there will be no qualms from me and the coaching staff.
“Short term my aim is to keep this club in the Premiership. There is no easy way to go about that and it is a situation that hasn’t been at this football club in a few years but it doesn’t scare me. I feel as though there is more than enough to push us up the table in the short term then try and build for long term by producing players. I am big on development, so the young players will certainly have a pathway to the first team if they are good enough.
“I want to win trophies. Why not Motherwell Football Club? Why can’t we win the Premiership? You’ve got to go out with that thinking otherwise you won’t achieve anything. To have days out in the cup are great for fans,but they are important. It’s a way into Europe and I’ve been used to that and want more of it, as I’m sure the fans do too.
“I want to give the fans as much pride in their team and town as soon as possible. I’m not going to say we need to win these games but psychologically these next few games could be massive for the season and I’m very confident that we can get out the bottom three and start moving up to mid-table and then aim for as high as position as possible.”