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    TV: Ramsden calls for character

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    Thomson in charge tomorrow

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    Season Ticket: Away Day Discount

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    TV: Highlights from Celtic Park

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    Celtic defeat in pictures

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    TV: Baraclough calls for bravery

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    Celtic 4 – 0 Motherwell

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    Madden in the middle against Celtic

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    TV: Baraclough up for Celtic challenge

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    Pearson returns home to ‘Well

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    TV: Ramsden calls for character

    Simon Ramsden insists hard work and character can  pull ‘Well away from the bottom end of the table.

    The Englishman joined in 2012 and in that time has helped steer ‘Well to two second place finishes but the season so far has been a different story with the Steelmen languishing near the bottom of the table.

    “I don’t think anyone could have imagined how this season has panned out”, admitted Ramsden, speaking to the broadcast press this afternoon.

    “I’ve been here nearly three seasons and over that period we’ve had some great success and I think when you are up there, a lot of teams give you a little bit of respect and maybe sit off you. When you are low in confidence and are down near the bottom, teams sense there is an opportunity there to try and capitilise on it.

    [pullquote]That’s something we have to deal with. It’s a different pressure from when you’re at the top of the league and you can go and play your free-flowing football and express yourself.[/pullquote]

    “Sometimes it is about digging in and showing a bit of character. We’d all like to go out there and play pretty football but if it takes a 1-0 scrappy effort where you have to get stuck in, that’s what we’re going to have to do.

    We know what Utd are capable off and we will no doubt be written off but as a club, we need to stay together and getting stuck in and putting in some hard work will hopefully result in wins.”

    MFC TV

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    Thomson in charge tomorrow

    Referee for Saturday’s SPFL Premership clash with Dundee Utd at Tannadice is Craig Thomson.

    The 42-year old will be handling his second Motherwell match of the 2014/15 season, his previous game being against Dundee Utd in the Scottish Cup.

    Thomson, arguably the highest rated amongst the Scottish officials, regularly hosting Champions League, Europa League and International matches, will be a more than familiar face to ‘Well fans, having being a top-flight whistler for over 13 years.

    He handled three Motherwell matches last season.

    The first was the 1-0 at St Mirren Park in September 2013 when John Sutton’s first-half header secured the points.

    The second was the fine 2-1 win at the Caledonian Stadium last April, Henri Anier and Iain Vigurs doing the damage and, most recent, was the enthralling 3-3 draw with Celtic in the same month, when a last-minute Sutton goal earned the Steelmen a point in a topsy-turvy match.

    It would have been his fourth but a New Year appointment between ‘Well and Caley was the postponed due to heavy rain.

    He took charge of three ‘Well matches the previous term too.

    The first was the 4-1 demolition of Aberdeen on Boxing Day when goals from Tom Hateley, Michael Higdon and a Jamie Murphy swept Craig Brown’s side away.

    The second was the 2-1 win at Tynecastle, when two early goals from Michael Higdon and a Dylan McGowan own-goal was enough to see off the Jambos.

    The third and final was the 2-0 home victory over Ross County in the last home game of that campaign – James McFadden and Chris Humphrey amongst the scorers.

    His record in charge of the Steelmen is a bit of a mix bag with fourteen wins from 39 matches. There have been sixteen defeats and nine draws too.

    Not included in that list was the 2007/08 Scottish Cup fourth round replay win against Hearts at Fir Park, when he replaced the injured Stuart Dougal midway through the second-half.

    In those games, Motherwell have scored 56 and conceded 55.

    138 players have gone into the book, 68 were wearing claret and amber, while five players, including former and current captains Stephen Craigan and Keith Lasley, have been dismissed.

    Craig will be ably assisted by David McGeachie and Stuart MacMillan with George Salmond on fourth official duties.

  • Archive

    Season Ticket: Away Day Discount

    Fans are reminded that season ticker holders can enter Tannadice at a discounted rate.

    The joint scheme between the two clubs will allow Motherwell Season Ticket holders to gain entry to Tannadice on Saturday  for just £10 for adults and £5 concessions/juveniles.

    Steelmen should present ‘Special Voucher A’ from the back of their ‘Well Season book at the turnstile at Tannadice to receive the discount – one voucher per fan.

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    TV: Highlights from Celtic Park

     Extended highlights from Celtic Park as ‘Well sink to a disappointing 4-0 defeat at the hands of the Premiership leaders.

    MFC TV

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    Celtic defeat in pictures

    Action pictures from this evening’s 4-0 SPFL Premiership defeat to league-leaders Celtic at Celtic Park.

    Snaps courtesy of SNSPix.

    [svgallery name=”celtic210115″]

  • Archive

    TV: Baraclough calls for bravery

    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.”

    MFC TV

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    Celtic 4 – 0 Motherwell

    [tab:Match report]

    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.”


    [poll id=”218″]

  • Archive

    Madden in the middle against Celtic

    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.

  • Archive

    TV: Baraclough up for Celtic challenge

    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.”

    MFC TV

  • Archive

    Pearson returns home to ‘Well

    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.”