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    TV: Baraclough seeks improvement

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    Lanarkshire Derby: Ticket Update

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    Allan in charge of Lanarkshire derby

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    Hammell aims for derby improvement

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    Remembering Phil O’Donnell: 1972-2007

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    TV: Highlights from Fir Park

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    Partick Thistle win in pictures

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    TV: Baraclough demands more

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    Motherwell 1 – 0 Partick Thistle

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    Partick Thistle Magazine Preview

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    TV: Baraclough seeks improvement

    Ian Baraclough says he and his squad continue to work hard on bettering their game despite two consecutive wins.

    The Fir Park boss is trying to get his players to pass the ball with less anxiety than they did in the second half of their 1-0 win over Partick Thistle on Saturday.

    Even against St Mirren, his side surrendered the ball all too easily at times but with improvement comes added confidence and the former Sligo boss can see a marked difference already.

    “We spoke about the Partick Thistle game on Sunday morning after I had reviewed it,” he said.

    “I get the players to discuss things at team meetings as well – they are the ones that are actually playing it – and there were good points that came out of that.”

    [pullquote]I get the players to discuss things at team meetings as well – they are the ones that are actually playing it – and there were good points that came out of that.[/pullquote]

    Motherwell will aim to take those ideas into the Lanarkshire derby as they bid to avenge a 4-0 Fir Park defeat against Accies, who sit 16 points above the Fir Parkers in the Scottish Premiership after a terrific first half of the 2014/15 campaign.

    “They have set their stall out to be physical, to be quick around the park, to close you down and not give you the chance to get into your rhythm,” Baraclough said. “And it’s working for them.

    “We have to be prepared for that and impose our style of play on them, and have the confidence to go and play that way. I saw flashes of it at the weekend, certainly not for 90 minutes, but for longer periods than the first week.

    “So hopefully we can build on that and have sustained periods of possession and be creative when we have got that.”

    MFC TV

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    Lanarkshire Derby: Ticket Update

    Motherwell fans should note the following ticket information ahead of Thursday’s Lanarkshire Derby with Hamilton at New Douglas Park.

    As of close of business on Tuesday, Motherwell have sold approximately 1,100 tickets from a 2,200 allocation in the Spice of Life North Stand, behind the goal.

    Tickets are on sale (prices listed below) up until 1pm on Wednesday 31st December 2014. What is left, if any, will be returned to New Douglas Park and sold on the day of the match at the turnstiles.

    Visiting supporters who buy on the day, and tickets will be sold on a first-come-first-served basis, should enter via Turnstiles 7, 8 or 9 at the North Stand.

    ‘Well fans who have already pre-purchased tickets (or do so before 1pm on Wednesday) should enter via turnstiles 10, 11 or 12 at the North Stand.

    There will be no overspill facility in the temporary stand, as was the case in the League Cup match back in September, as Accies are utilising this area for community ticketing initiatives.

    TICKET PRICES

    ADULTS:   £22 
    CONCESSIONS:                          £10
    • Concessions are listed as Under 18s as Over 65s
    • Fans who require wheelchair access should contact Sharon or John McCaskie on 07745494631 / 07711 992161 or email disabledfans@motherwellfc.co.uk.
  • Archive

    Allan in charge of Lanarkshire derby

    Referee for Thursday’s SPFL Premiership clash with Hamilton Accies will be the experienced Crawford Allan.

    It will be Crawford’s second Motherwell match of the 2014/15 season, the other being the narrow 1-0 defeat at Pittodrie when Jonny Hayes’ early goal separated the sides in a fairly uneventful game.

    Allan is a vastly experienced figure though and will be a familiar face over the years, including two games last term.

    The first was a narrow 1-0 win over Hibs in November 2013 when a Stephen McManus header gave the 10-man Steelmen all three points.

    The other, five weeks later, was the important 1-2 victory at Ross County, which kicked off an incredible six game winning run. A brace from John Sutton was enough to edge out the Staggies and got ‘Well back to winning ways after the disappointment of an early Scottish Cup exit and a thumping from Celtic.

    Crawford, one of the country’s best referees for over a decade, handled two matches the previous season too.

    His first was the goalless draw with Hearts last November, which will be remembered for the collision between Darren Randolph and Calum Paterson.

    Randolph was later handed a two match suspension following an enquiry by the then SFA Compliance Officer Vincent Lunny, Motherwell did appeal the decision, however were unsuccessful in their attempts to have the ban overturned.

    The second will be remembered for the on-field exploits as Motherwell and Kilmarnock shared a 2-2 draw just after Christmas last year.

    Kenny Shiels’ Killie had raced into a 2-0 lead courtesy of goals from Perez and Heffernan but a close-range goal from Jamie Murphy and a Henrik Ojamaa stunner levelled things up.

    Tragically, Allan took charge of the ‘Well game on the 29th December 2007, forever etched in history as the date when Phil O’Donnell tragically passed away in the 5-3 victory over Dundee United.

    Speaking publically, Allan admitted Phil’s death had a profound effect on the whistler but won heartfelt praise for the way he handled what was an extremely difficult situation and his sensitive approach will be forever appreciated by everyone at Motherwell Football Club and is recognised each time he returns to Fir Park.

    In another twist of fate, Crawford is only one of two referees to have ever taken charge of a Motherwell away game at Fir Park as the Steelmen faced hosts Gretna during the 2007/2008 campaign.

    His record in charge of the ‘Well is a fairly decent one, with the Fir Parkers winning eight, drawing six and losing five of the nineteen games in total. In those games, 55 players have seen yellow, 32 in Claret and Amber, whilst four have been sent for an early bath including Shaun Hutchinson in that match against Hibs last term.

    Allan will be ably assisted by John McCrossan and Raymond Whyte with Des Roache on fourth official duties.

  • Archive

    Hammell aims for derby improvement

    Stevie Hammell says ‘Well are out to try and exorcise the demons of the last Lanarkshire derby.

    The Steelmen, who had crashed out on penalty kicks at New Douglas Park the midweek previous, were soundly beaten 0-4 by Alex Neil’s side at Fir Park.

    It was Accies biggest win at the home of the nearest rivals in over 80 years and a real painful one to take for anyone of a Motherwell persuasion.

    Hamilton have enjoyed a terrific season so far and go into the match as firm favourites, but Hammell insists there is a real desire amongst the playing squad to try and right the wrongs of that particular afternoon in late September.

    [pullquote]We want to make a massive improvement on that game and performance and we’ll go into this match quietly confident.[/pullquote]

    Speaking to the gathered press at ‘Well’s pre-match news conference, the experienced fullback, who has recently returned from a long-term injury, said: “It’s always hugely difficult to watch from the sidelines, particularly if your teammates are struggling.

    “That game against Hamilton was probably about as poor as we’ve been, exacerbated by the fact that it’s your rivals, a derby.

    “That shows you exactly what they are capable of if you’re not on your game but we want to make a massive improvement on that game and performance and we’ll go into this match quietly confident.”

    MFC TV

  • Archive

    Remembering Phil O’Donnell: 1972-2007

    Motherwell FC remembers the late, great Phil O’Donnell, who tragically passed away seven years ago today.

    O’Donnell came through the youth ranks at Fir Park before eventually making his senior debut against St Mirren 24 years ago.

    He would go on to famously score in the iconic ’91 Cup Final against Dundee United, which ‘Well eventually won 4-3 in such dramatic circumstances.

    Phil continued to develop, won the PFA Young Player of the Year Award in 1992 and 1994, and earned one cap for the Scottish national team, playing for 15 minutes as a substitute against Switzerland in September 1993.

    His form attracted the attention of bigger clubs and Tommy Burns and Celtic eventually paid £1.75m (still a Motherwell club record to this day) for his services in September 1994.

    He spent five years in Glasgow, winning the Scottish Cup again and formed part of the Hoops side that famously denied Rangers ten-in-a-row under Wim Jansen back in 1998.

    He would later join Sheffield Wednesday and spend four years at Hillsbrough before returning home to Fir Park under Terry Butcher in 2004.

    After being named Captain, he enjoyed a real resurgence in form, particularly under Mark McGhee in the Autumn of 2007, before being tragically taken before his time in a game against Dundee United seven years ago today.

    The thoughts of everyone at Motherwell FC on this sad day are always with his wife Eileen, four children Megan, Olivia, Christopher and Luc and the rest of the close and extended O’Donnell family.

    Phil O’Donnell, brave as a lion. Forever 10.

  • Archive

    TV: Highlights from Fir Park

     Extended highlights from Fir Park as John Sutton’s penalty gives Motherwell a 1-0 win over Partick Thistle.

    MFC TV

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    Partick Thistle win in pictures

    Action pictures from this afternoon’s 1-0 SPFL Premiership win over Partick Thistle at Fir Park.

    Snaps courtesy of SNSPix.

    [svgallery name=”partickthistle271214″]

  • Archive

    TV: Baraclough demands more

    Ian Baraclough praised his team’s resilience after they earned a second successive victory – but left them in no doubt that he expects more following a narrow 1-0 win over Partick Thistle.

    Motherwell were well worth their half-time lead after playing some decent football following John Sutton’s 14th-minute penalty, but they were pegged back for the vast majority of the second half at Fir Park.

    However, goalkeeper Dan Twardzik was largely untroubled thanks to some committed defending and home substitute Lee Erwin missed the best chance of the half on the counter-attack.

    Motherwell clung on to record back-to-back wins for the first time this season to give Baraclough a good platform which he is looking to build on.

    “It was hard-earned. It probably wasn’t pretty in the second half but I felt the first-half performance was very good,” Baraclough said. “We created a lot of good chances, good movement, good use of the ball.

    [pullquote]There’s a lot more to come, we are not kidding ourselves that that was the perfect performance because (the) second half was far from it. We have told them that but the players understand that.[/pullquote]

    “The second half was probably the total opposite. Credit to the opposition, they came and had a go. We probably sat back, there was an anxiousness that we are trying to get out of the players. You are not there to protect a lead, go and replicate that first-half performance then you make it a lot easier for yourselves.

    “We got a bit stretched and, when we did win it back, we didn’t use it so well.

    “But you can’t fault the players’ endeavour and will to win, and willingness to throw themselves in front of the ball. I don’t think Dan has actually had to make too many saves.”

    Baraclough started his Motherwell career with a 1-0 win at St Mirren Park and their latest victory moved them three points off the Jags, who sit ninth in the Scottish Premiership.

    “They are good players,” Baraclough said. “You don’t get the positions they have in last three years without having talent. We have tried to organise them and get them to understand their roles and responsibilities and started from scratch again.

    “But there’s a lot more to come, we are not kidding ourselves that that was the perfect performance because (the) second half was far from it. We have told them that but the players understand that.”

    MFC TV

  • Archive

    Motherwell 1 – 0 Partick Thistle

    [tab:Match report]

    Phil McGhee Fir Park

    For the second consecutive game, a John Sutton goal was enough to give ‘Well a slender 1-0 win.

    And while Sutton’s penalty after 14 minutes was all that separated the teams, Ian Baraclough would be delighted with his side’s commitment and determination which earned the new manager a dream start to his Fir Park career.

    The ‘Well line-up had a more experienced look about with Stevie Hammell retrurning for his first start since October to add added proficiency to a solid looking defence, which held firm for a second consecutive clean sheet.

    Simon Ramsden, free from suspension, came in to bring a much needed bite and drive from the middle of the park.

    After some early defensive work dealing with acouple of corners from Stuart Brannigan, the Fir Parkers were gifted the lead in their first attack after 13 minutes.

    A swift move ended with Josh Law playing in Lionel Ainsworth at the angle of the box. But as raced past Brannigan, the Thistle defender pulled him back to needlessly concede a penalty. John Sutton showed little sympathy for the visitors as he confidently sent the ‘keeper the wrong way for his third goal in three games.

    The goal unnerved Thistle and for the reminader of the half ‘Well dominated the play.

    Minutes after scoring Sutton might have made it two but after robbing Danny Seaborne at the edge of the box he steered his shot just beyond the post.

    With the home side building in confidence, Henrik Ojamaa tried his luck with a low curling shot from the edge of the box which Paul Gallagher palmed away at full stretch.

    For a spell Ainsworth’s blistering pace gave Brannigan a roasting, and a series of runs and inviting crosses from the winger found no takers in front of goal.
    With the home side playing with a lot more freedom, Craig Reid ventured forward to fire a shot straight at Gallagher.

    It took until injury time for Dan Twardzik to make his first save getting down at his left hand post to force Stephen O’Donnell’s snapshot behind.

    Thistle started the second half in determined fashion and for long spells they put the ‘Well defence under some pressure. Despite have the majority of the possession, the Jags were largely restricted to long range efforts and 20 yard drives from former ‘Well pair Steven Lawless and Kallum Higginbotham sailed wide with little threat to Twardzik’s goal.

    In an attempt to take some pressure off the defence, Lee Erwin replaced Sutton after 74 minutes. With Thistle still looking the more likely to score, Fraser Kerr then took over from Mark O’Brien in the heart of the home defence.

    As the game entered the final 10 minutes the ‘Well players threw themselves into tackles around the box, none better than Keith Lasley who bravely blocked Kris Doolan twice in quick succession.

    With six minutes remaining ‘Well should have killed off the game when Erwin, on a run from the halfway line, held off Conrad Balatoni, but with the goal in his sights the young striker pulled his shot wide of Gallagher’s right hand post.

    And with the home side confidently playing out injury time, a burst upfield and left foot drive from Ojamaa brought a save from Gallagher as ‘Well closed the gap on Thistle to three points.

    [tab:As it happened]

     Ally Reilly at Fir Park

    FT: Motherwell 1 – 0 Partick Thistle #MFCvPTFC

    FULL TIME!!

    93mins: Bannigan booked for chopping down Erwin. ‘Well free-kick on the edge of the box #MFCvPTFC

    4 minutes added on.

    88mins: Corner to Thistle…….defended resolutely again by ‘Well. #MFCvPTFC

    87mins: Motherwell sub, Hammell is off for Ferguson #MFCvPTFC

    86mins: Glorious chance for Erwin as he is sent through 1 on 1 but fires wide! #MFCvPTFC

    82mins: Final Partick sub, Eccleston on for Fraser #MFCvPTFC

    ..McManus heads clear. Still 1-0 going into the final 10 mins… #MFCvPTFC

    79mins: Free-kick for Thislte on the edge of the box. Good Area….

    77mins: Second ‘Well sub, O’Brien off for Kerr #MFCvPTFC

    74mins: Motherwell sub, Sutton off for Erwin #MFCvPTFC

    73mins: Half chance for Thistle there as Lawless does well to control a ball that is fizzed into him at the front post. Twardzik gathers.

    70mins: 20 minutes left and you get the feeling there is a goal left in this one…. #MFCvPTFC

    67mins: Partick Thistle sub, Stevenson off for Doolan #MFCvPTFC

    66mins: Great persistence from Ainsworth wins a corner but Thistle head clear and counter. #MFCvPTFC

    61mins: Stevenson booked for dissent. Felt ha should have had a penalty but ref says no. #MFCvPTFC

    57mins: Long range effort from Fraser drifts harmlessly wide. Thistle look dangerous now #MFCvPTFC

    55mins: Partick on top in the opening 10 mins of the second half. ‘Well are pushed in deep #MFCvPTFC

    52mins: Partick sub, Craigen off for Lawless #MFCvPTFC

    51mins: Half chance there as Law reads a Sutton flick-on, however he is beaten to the ball by Balatoni who nods back to Gallagher #MFCvPTFC

    We are back underway at Fir Park #MFCvPTFC

    HT: Motherwell 1 – 0 Partick Thistle #MFCvPTFC

    45mins: Great low save from Twardzik to deny O’Donnell at his near post! #MFCvPTFC

    Thankfull he is back on his feet after treatment from the physio and the club doctor.#MFCvPTFC

    37mins: It’s a Motherwell corner….O’Brien heads wide and goes down. with a head knock. #MFCvPTFC

    35mins: Poor effort from Fraser, who has a shot from 25 yards but was always leaning back. Well over in the end #MFCvPTFC

    25mins: Could have been 2! Lovely through ball by Reid to Ainsworth who cut it back to danger area. Balatoni gets across to cover #MFCvPTFC

    25mins: Reid goes a little run forward and with no other options opts to shoot. Routine save for Gallagher though #MFCvPTFC

    19mins: Good pressure from ‘Well! Ojamaa has a a snapshot on the edge of the box pushed away ‘Well by the diving Gallagher #MFCvPTFC

    18mins: Inches past the post from Sutton! Ref says its a corner after his shot from 18 yards whistled just past. #MFCvPTFC

    Sutton sends Gallagher the wrong way to make it 1-0 to The Steelmen #MFCvPTFC

    13mins: Sutton steps up…GGGOOOAALLL!!

    PENALTY! Ainsworth pulled down in the box!

    11mins: Stevenson forces a second Partick corner. I’s a great delivey from Bannigan which is headed wide by Reid for another corner #MFCvPTFC

    8mins: Both sides just trying to settle into the game. Neither ‘keeper troubled as yet #MFCvPTFC

    2mins: Partick start on the attacking foot and win a corner….. headed just over by Seaborne at the front post! #MFCvPTFC

    Lasley and Law get the game underway. COYW! #MFCvPTFC

    Minute’s silence impeccably observed as always. #MFCvPTFC

    [tab:Reaction]

    Motherwell manager Ian Baraclough:

    “It was hard-earned. It probably wasn’t pretty in the second half but I felt the first-half performance was very good. We created a lot of good chances, good movement, good use of the ball.

    “The second half was probably the total opposite.

    “Credit to the opposition, they came and had a go. We probably sat back, there was an anxiousness that we are trying to get out of the players. You are not there to protect a lead, go and replicate that first-half performance then you make it a lot easier for yourselves.

    “We got a bit stretched and, when we did win it back, we didn’t use it so well.

    “But you can’t fault the players’ endeavour and will to win, and willingness to throw themselves in front of the ball. I don’t think Dan has actually had to make too many saves.”

    Partick Thistle manager Alan Archibald:

    “I thought our second-half performance merited at least a point. We were in the final third a lot and it is concerning that we are taking the wrong option too often.

    “I have no complaint about Motherwell’s penalty as I thought it was a foul. We just weren’t sure if it was inside the box as the boys felt the first contact was outside.”

    [tab:Man-of-the-match]

    [poll id=”214″]

  • Archive

    Partick Thistle Magazine Preview

    The tenth domestic Steelmen Matchday Magazine of 2014/15 is on sale when Partick Thistle visit Fir Park on Saturday.

    But what is inside?

    Ian Baraclough pens his first ever programme notes and talks about what he hopes to achieve at Motherwell and his view on the recent win over St Mirren and what to expect from Partick Thistle.

    The skipper, Keith Lalsey, also returns with his usual column. The veteran midfielder chats about the confidence the team have taken from last weekend’s results and the hopes and aspirations for 2015.

    The feature interview is with goalkeeper Dan Twardzik. The former Bayern Munich stopper chats about the season so far, finally making it to a ‘number one’ position and overcoming doubts and his stature to make it in the professional game.

    Dan also features as the next in the centre-page souvenir poster collection.

    But that’s not where the features stop!

    There is an in-depth section dedicated to our visitors, Partick Thistle.

    As ever, Ray Morrison introduces the Glasgow side and Andy Paterson talks through four vital characters in the Jags side likely to cause issues.

    The big features keep coming…

    ‘From the Press Box’ returns with regular host, the Herald’s Scott Mullen and ‘Voices from the East Stand’ blogger Eddie McGuigan once again gives a fans viewpoint on recent happenings.

    Eddie Ferguson’s fascinating feature looking at every Motherwell manager in history continues and focuses on the turbulent year Jock Wallace took charge at Fir Park and the dismantling of Davie Hay’s all conquering First Division winners.

    Our match reports section takes a look back at the important 1-0 win at St Mirren last weekend…

    We have the latest from The Ticket Office, Commercial and Community Departments, and update from the Well Society as well as the latest stats, facts and figures from the 2014/2015 campaign.

    We also take a statistical look at the match official and the GIRFEC sponsored ‘Junior Steel’ kids page returns and is sure to test the youngster’s quiz minds with puzzles and ‘Did you know’ facts and a new Man of the Match feature sponsored by Match Attax.

    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 subscription to the magazine for the rest of the season by visiting the website of our publishers – Curtis-Sports – CLICK HERE.