Action pictures from this evening’s 4-0 SPFL Premiership defeat to league-leaders Celtic at Celtic Park.
Snaps courtesy of SNSPix.
Action pictures from this evening’s 4-0 SPFL Premiership defeat to league-leaders Celtic at Celtic Park.
Snaps courtesy of SNSPix.
Ian Baraclough thinks his ‘Well players have got to be far braver if they’re to get out their torrid run of form.
The Steelmen have endured an awful January thus far, losing four games and shipping poor goals.
And although the Fir Parkers have as many as ten players unavailable, the recently appointed Baraclough is in no mood the make excuses.
‘Well now face Dundee United at Tannadice on Saturday and the former Scunthope and Sligo boss wants his big players to stand up and be counted.
[pullquote]We lack confidence and in that situation, you look to your big characters to say: ‘I want to be the one that makes the difference’. That’s real bravery.[/pullquote]
He said: “We’ve got to be brave, we’ve got to get on the ball. We’ve got to make things happen when we do win the ball back and certainly not lose in cheaply.
“We need more competition for places and that comes from getting some back off the treatment table, coupled with a couple of new, fresh faces.
“Over and above that, we need to be prepared to roll up the sleeves and be prepared for a scrap. We’re giving things away far too cheaply and that’s not good enough.
“We lack confidence and in that situation, you look to your big characters to say: ‘I want to be the one that makes the difference’. That’s real bravery.”
Phil McGhee at Celtic Park
Motherwell couldn’t prevent Celtic returning to the top of the Premiership table and make it a miserable three consecutive away defeats.
Apart from some resolute and organised defending for the opening quarter, there were few positives for Ian Baraclough, except for the fact that at the end of the ninety minutes he had three teenagers and a twenty year old in his line-up.
Stephen Pearson made his return to the ‘Well midfield, almost exactly 11 years after he left Fir Park, coincidently to join Celtic.
Some touches and runs from midfield suggest that his experience will be an asset in the coming months.
Simon Ramsden and Luke Watt were also in the starting line-up covering for the injured Keith Lasley and suspended Henrik Ojamaa.
With five across the midfield ‘Well were content to give Celtic possession and restrict them to long range efforts. Two 25 yard drives from Kris Commons and Anthony Stokes drifted harmlessly wide of target, but it was a fairly calm opening.
Dan Twardzik was finally forced into action after 17 minutes when raced from his line and then bravely dived to punch clear as Leigh Griffiths was about to capitalise on Commons’ through ball.
Although not venturing beyond their own half, Motherwell looked comfortable until conceding the lead after 26 minutes.
Stokes was afforded far too much time and space following a cleared corner, and he picked out Virgil Van Dijk unmarked at the back post and the Dutch defender had the easiest of tasks nodding the ball home to open the scoring.
That forced the Fir Park men to be more adventourous and a couple of breaks from Pearson offered some hope.
On the half hour he was sent clear by John Sutton and the midfield strongly held off Jason Denayer to the left of the box before floating the ball over Craig Gordon and byond the ‘keeper’s post.
Seven minutes later the pair combined again but when Pearson sent the ball across the six yard box Danayer slid in front of Sutton to deny him a strike at goal.
The visitor’s hopes of getting back into the game took a dent three minutes from half time when Celtic grabbed a second goal. Stokes was again the provider with a cross from the left and Griffiths nipped across Stephen McManus to steer a header well beyond Twardzik.
Dom Thomas replaced Lionel Ainsworth at half-time and the 18 year-old immediately brought some attacking flair. Twice in the opening minutes Thomas had shots at goal and after his first floated wide he collected a pass from Craig Reid at the corner of the box before slamming a drive into the side netting.
Twardzik’s goal then had a lucky escape when, after some poor defending, the unmarked Stefan Johansen headed the ball against the foot of the post with the ‘Well ‘keeper relieved to turn and gather the rebound.
After 62 minutes Twardzik produced his first save spreading himself brilliantly to block Johansen’s thumping drive from 10 yards.
As the pressure mounted on the visitors goal Emilio Izaguirre’s shot deflected off the face of the crossbar.
The unlucky Mark O’Brien was again in the wars, this time a clash of heads with Johansen resulting in both players being substituted, Craig Moore coming on for his first appearance since damaging his cruciate.
And it was the young striker’s 20 yard drive which forced Gordon into his first save after 74 minutes.
Celtic delivered the sucker punch, though, when they moved straight upfield for Mikael Lustig to sweep home number three.
Nine from time the Celtic defender dived to power a header past Twardzik to round off another disappointing away day for ‘Well.
[tab:As it happened]
Ally Reilly at Celtic Park
FT: Celtic 4 – 0 Motherwell #CFCvMFC
1 minute added on #CFCvMFC
83mins: Law is booked for a shirt pull on Lustig. From the free-kick, Lustig fires off the bar #CFCvMFC
80mins: Goal – Lustig scores again, this time a diving header to make it 4-0 #CFCvMFC
75mins: Goal! Lustig makes it 3-0, finished low into the left corner from an Izaguirre cutback #CFCvMFC
74mins: Slack pass out of Celtic’s defence straight to Moore but he can only shoot straight at Gordon #CFCvMFC
And both are subbed off. O’Brien off for Moore and Johansen off for Scepovic #CFCvMFC
69mins: Bad headknock there between Johansen and O’Brien. Blood shed on both parts….
66mins: Motherwell sub, Erwin on for Sutton #CFCvMFC
65mins: Izaguirre rattles the bar from a low cross only 10 yards out. Should have been 3 #CFCvMFC
64mins: Celtic sub, Forrest on for Stokes #CFCvMFC
63mins: Twardzik has to dive low to his left to beat away Johansen’s low drive from just inside the box #CFCvMFC
58mins: Johansen sees his header come back off the post and roll along the line into the hands of Twardzik #CFCvMFC
56mins: Commons cuts in from the right hand side but again lacks composure as he pulls the trigger. Well over again #CFCvMFC
48mins: Carswell dispossesses van Dijk and slides in Thomas who fires into the side netting from 15 yards. Unlucky. #CFCvMFC
47mins: Good passsing moves sets up Brown in the ‘Wel box but he awkwardly volleys over #CFCvMFC
Second half is underway #CFCvMFC
Half-time subs, Thomas on for Ainsworth and Lustig on for Matthews #CFCvMFC
HT: Celtic 2 – 0 Motherwell #CFCvMFC
42mins: Goal! It’s 2-0, Griffiths heading home another Stokes cross #CFCvMFC
Corner falls to Ainsworth at the far post but his volley is fired into the ground and is cleared #CFCvMFC
38mins: Another ‘Well corner after Pearson whips in a lovely low ball for Sutton which is intercepted. #CFCvMFC
35mins: First corner of the game for ‘Well…….headed clear by Denayer at the front post #CFCvMFC
31mins: Close to an equaliser! Pearson drives forward and with no options in the box attempts a lob over Gordon. Not far wide! #CFCvMFC
26mins: Goal! van Dijk puts Celtic 1 up here at Celtic Park. Headered home Stokes’ cross at the back post #CFCvMFC
20mins: Izaguirre gets down the wing and squares to Commons who is off ballance and fires well over #CFCvMFC
17mins: Twardzik comes off his line and bravely gets in front of Griffiths to punch clear Commons’ cross #CFCvMFC
10mins: Commons wins a free-kick in a dangerous position 25 yards out….Stokes curls it inches wide of the post #CFCvMFC
7mins: A long range shot from Commons flashes past the post. From the stand, looked closer than Twardzik’s manner suggested. #CFCvMFC
6mins: ‘Well break and then get countered and concede another corner, which is cleared to safety #CFCvMFC
5mins: Corner to Celtic after O’Brien nods it behind at the back post #CFCvMFC
And we are underway. COYW! #CFCvMFC
Motherwell manager Ian Baraclough:
“We have to put it right the next game. You can’t keep relying on others not picking up points, you have to pick up points yourself.
“No-one is kidding ourselves, we are part of that group of three who are fighting for their lives.”
Celtic manager Ronny Deila:
“I feel more comfortable now before games. I feel more safe and trust the team more than I did before.
“We are more together and understand what we expect of each other. The training is also good quality now so if we keep what we have got it’s going to be hard to beat us.
“We want to be number one and now everything is in our hands. If we win the rest of the games we are champions and that’s the best position we can have, even though we know there are so many games left.
“We just have to keep performing like today and winning games then we will see at the end of the season whether it’s a race or not.”
The referee for Wednesday’s SPFL Premiership clash with Celtic at Celtic Park is Bobby Madden.
The match will be Bobby’s third in charge of the Steelmen this campaign, the other two games being 3-1 defeats to Partick Thistle and Inverness CT in October and November respectively.
Madden is becoming an altogether more recognised face in Scottish football as he works his way to the top and ‘Well fans will be familiar given he handled five matches last term.
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, when a Kris Commons double and a McManus own-goal handed Celtic all three points.
The fourth was also a loss, 3-1 at Tannadice in February when John Sutton’s second half penalty wasn’t enough to take any points.
The last was another disappointing defeat, a 1-2 home reverse against Kilmarnock in late March when Craig Slater’s 94th minute winner inflicted Motherwell’s first home defeat of 2014.
His overall record in charge of the Steelmen reads four wins; six defeats and one draw from eleven games. The Fir Parkers have netted 20 times, and conceded 21. In those eleven games, he has booked 24 players, twelve of those cautions flashed at players wearing Claret and Amber.
Only one player has been sent for an early shower, Anthony Stokes for a lunging tackle on Keith Lasley at Celtic Park last season.
The whistler has already been extremely busy this campaign, with hectic domestic duties topped up with games in the Europa League with FC Zürich’s home fixture against Spartak Trnava as well as the Group Stage game between PSV Eindhoven and Estoril and Sevilla versus Standard Liège.
In addition, he handled the UEFA Champions League qualifier between Red Bull Salzburg and Azerbaijani side Qarabağ Ağdam FK as well as the UEFA 2016 European Championship qualifier between Latvia and Turkey last month.
Bobby will be ably assisted by Gavin Harris and Ross Haswell with Brian Colvin on fourth official duties.
Ian Baraclough admits he relishes the tag of underdog as he prepares his side to face Celtic in Glasgow tomorrow night.
The Steelmen travel to Parkhead on the back of three straight defeats and couldn’t face a tougher task than an away trip to the home of the reigning champions to curb that run of form.
However, the Englishman admits he doesn’t mind going into the game as underdogs and called on his players to take positives from their 1-1 draw in September.
‘For a player, manager or anyone involved in the game, to go and pit your wits against the bigger clubs is a challenge and one that you relish.’ Baraclough told the broadcast media at today’s pre-match news conference
[pullquote]Most people will be expecting a Celtic win but I don’t mind being the underdog. I don’t mind going there with the mindset of we will give it our all and see what we get from it.[/pullquote]
“As long as we work hard, stay compact and work as a unit, then I think we will have chances to break and cause them problems.
“You remind the players of the fact they went to Celtic Park a few months ago and got a point. It took a late penalty to equalise and you have to draw on those experiences.
“There is no inferiority complex and we are not going there to be a walk over. If we go there and give our all then who knows what we can achieve.”
Motherwell FC is tonight pleased to confirm the signing of midfielder Stephen Pearson until the end of the current season.
The 10-times capped former Scotland International started his career at Fir Park and was involved in a group of exciting young players including James McFadden, Stevie Hammell, Paul Quinn and David Clarkson.
He eventually moved to Celtic in January 2004 before spells south of the border with Derby County, Stoke City and Bristol City.
During that run he was famed for scoring the “£60 million” Playoff Final goal for the Rams against West Brom back in 2007, taking his then side to the Barclay’s Premier League.
He trained with Motherwell during the summer but signed for Indian Premier League side Kerala Blasters, playing 17 games, before the season finished last month.
[pullquote]I am delighted to be back, I’ve got great memories of this place from the past.[/pullquote]
He has signed a deal until the end of the current season and subject to international clearance, will go straight into the squad for Wednesday night’s game at Celtic Park.
Stephen, who will wear squad number 48 for the next four months, told motherwellfc.co.uk: “I am delighted to be back, I’ve got great memories of this place from the past.
“It’s a great club and I am thrilled to rejoin and hopefully help the club push up the table.
“I’ve been playing regularly for the last few months and feel fit.
“I have trained with the lads not only during the summer but over the last week and I am just desperate to get involved now.”
Motherwell club sponsor Cash Converters is delighted to announce that Estonian Striker Henrik Ojamaa has won the Player of the Month award for December.
The Steelmen picked up seven points in December and Henrik scored one in the two-two draw with Ross County and was instrumental in John Sutton’s winning goal against St Mirren.
The Player of the Month is voted for by the ‘Well fans on Cash Converters’ official SPFL Facebook page and Henrik was handed the trophy by Martin Morris and his friend, Dale Johnston .
Look out for the next vote at the end of December to be in with a chance of presenting the award to the winner. Simply visit our Cash Converters SPL Facebook page by CLICKING HERE.
Tickets for Wednesday’s SPFL Premiership match at Celtic Park will be on sale from the Ticket Office this weekend.
The Ticket Office in the Chapman Building will be open from 10am – 1pm.
Tickets are priced at:
|ADULTS:||£26 / £23|
|CONCESSIONS:||£17 / £14|
Celtic will not be selling tickets from the ground on the day of the match.
Motherwell FC’s SPFL Premiership match with Kilmarnock has been postponed due to storm damage at Fir Park Stadium.
Recent heavy winds have made several areas unsafe and after agreement with the SPFL and Saturday’s opponents, the game will be rearranged for later in the season.
Safety and Facilities Manager Alan Marshall said: “Some of the aluminium facings on the side of the East Stand have been blown off by the wind, making the adjacent panels unsecure.
“Should any others come detached whilst people are in the Stadium, it could pose a real threat to the safety of not only the players and officials on the park, but the spectators inside the ground.
“We have tried everything we can to rectify the issue but have been thwarted by either more high winds or snow. Sadly, it would be impossible to not only secure the panels that are visibly hanging loose, but also to check all others in the same area in time for kick-off on Saturday. If another fell and hit someone, the consequences would be unthinkable.
“Regretfully, I have had to insist on the match being postponed to allow us sufficient time to make safe that particular concern, and other areas of more minor storm damage to both the Davie Cooper and Maxim Office Park Stands too.”
‘Well boss Ian Baraclough said: “It’s frustrating but at the same time, the health and safety of everyone inside the ground has got to be the number one consideration.
“We’ll have the players in training tomorrow and work has already begun preparing for this Wednesday night’s match against Celtic.”
The game will now be played on Saturday 7th March 2015 (3pm KO)
Motherwell FC are now recruiting for Football Fans in Training funded by The Scottish Government in partnership with The SPFL Trust.
FFIT is a 12-week course aimed at tackling men’s health problems across all the SPFL Premiership Clubs.
Each session combines dietary and healthy living advice through informative and interactive classroom sessions as well as taking part in planned and progressive physical activity at Motherwell FC.
The programme will begin with an information evening on Tuesday the 20th of January from 6pm to 730pm and will take place in the Davie Cooper Suite.
This is a great opportunity to get involved with your Football Club and help yourself live a healthier life. The programme is open to men aged between 35-65 who fit any of these criteria
• BMI of 28+
• Belly 40 inches +
• Trouser waist size of 38 inches +
If you meet any of the above criteria and are keen to get involved in this excellent project please register your interest by contacting email@example.com or call the Community Trust on (01698) 239926