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    Motherwell v Rangers: A closer look

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    New 2016/17 Macron Away kit

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    McHugh – Rangers a great test

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    McGhee – We’ll be in right frame of mind

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    McLean in charge of Rangers clash

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    Moult – I’ll play if I get the green light

  • Archive

    Motorpoint announced as new principal sponsor

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    Rangers Ticket information

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    TV: Highlights from Easter Road

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    McGhee – We were off the pace

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    Motherwell v Rangers: A closer look

    By: Lewis Irons

    Saturday’s Betfred Cup clash with Rangers marks the start of the competitive season at Fir Park.

    It is also the first time the two sides have met since the ‘Well maintained their Premiership status intact thanks to a 6-1 aggregate victory over the Ibrox side.

    The new format will take some getting used to for club sides across the country, with competitive football arriving three weeks before the Ladbrokes Premiership gets underway.

    And with both Motherwell and Saturdays opponents Rangers boasting a number of new signings, the race to find a settled starting eleven could be the key to success in the opening cup match in Group F.

    Normally, pre-season friendlies would allow for more time to experiment and make adjustments, but the Steelmen will need to be at their best tomorrow as they face a dangerous Rangers side.

    [pullquote]It’s a competitive game and I think we’ve got our heads around that, so it won’t feel like a pre-season game for us and I’m sure it won’t for Rangers either.     – Mark McGhee[/pullquote]

    New signings Richard Tait, Ben Heneghan, Jacob Blyth, Dean Brill and Carl McHugh have impressed manager Mark McGhee since their arrivals, but the five players haven’t featured in the same line-up for more than 45 minutes.

    Following Sundays defeat to Hibs, the manager took the time to iron out the creases in training this week and insists his side are well prepared.

    Despite the reverse at Easter Road, McGhee has spoke of his frame of mind being a  lot better going in to the Rangers game, having addressed the issues he had with the performance five days ago.

    He said: “We’ve had a look at it again and we’ve dug in to see what was going on and we’ve discovered that there was a lot going on that wasn’t the way that we normally do things – both as individuals and as a group, defensively in particular.

    “But there were things that when we saw it we thought, actually this isn’t too difficult to fix.

    “There were some fundamental things that we do as a group and we did last season that made us very difficult to beat at times, gave us a chance of winning games, and those things weren’t in place on Sunday.

    He added: “But we hope to have corrected those mistakes and be a lot, lot better on Saturday.”

    New signing Carl McHugh turned a few heads, while breaking some hearts of the loyal Plymouth fans, when he made the switch to Fir Park.

    But the 23-year-old midfielder, who understands that reaction after leaving a club he enjoyed an extremely successful two-years with, is focussed firmly on his performances on the pitch.

    The Irishman penned a two-year deal with the Steelmen and believes facing a club like Rangers is something to be relished, now that he is with a top-flight team in Scotland.

    The combative number eight said: “Obviously it’ll be great to test yourself against teams like Rangers. They’ll be very strong and you’d expect them to be right up there this season when you look at some of the signings they’ve made, so it’s a great test for us.”

    But McHugh added: “It’s very early in season the league doesn’t start for a few more weeks and that’s the main priority; being ready for the league. But it’s a massive game for us and it will give us a good yardstick of where we are.

    [pullquote]We’re all looking forward to it; it’s a massive game. It’s a little bit different from pre-season friendlies that you’d normally be playing at this time of year.”[/pullquote]

    Likely up against Rangers new signing Joey Barton, McHugh’s work-rate, bite and array of passing will be key for Mark McGhee, who has been pleased with his midfielder so far.

    He said: “In midfield, Carl’s arrival from Plymouth boosts our squad significantly. Our midfield was lacking depth after a few key players departed last season, but in McHugh we have a solid, confident midfielder who is only 23-years-old.”

    ‘Well fans will be in for an exciting two years with McHugh in the middle of the park, as McGhee and his squad look to build on last years successes.

    Gers boss Mark Warburton has gained his fair share of plaudits over the past year after guiding the Ibrox club to the Championship title, the Petrofac Cup and a place in the final of the Scottish Cup in his first season at the helm.

    This Rangers side is a different challenge from the one that faced the Steelmen in the Premiership play-off in May 2015; a side that are ranked by some bookmakers, including Betfred(!), as second favourites to lift the league trophy this season.

    Under the Londoner, Rangers have a 70% win rate, having slumped to defeat on only seven occasions last season.

    But perhaps more importantly to their fans, the club are playing an expansive brand of football under Warburton, overcoming Premiership sides St Johnstone, Dundee and Celtic en route to the Scottish Cup final.

    Over the summer, the Glaswegians have strengthened their squad significantly, adding the likes of Niko Kranjcar, Josh Windass and Clint Hill to their books.

    It was the addition of Joey Barton that quickened the pulse rates of the Gers fans the most though – after the midfielder swapped the English Championship winners Burnley for the Scottish Championship winners on a free transfer.

    Barton scored three goals and registered two assists as Sean Dyche’s side won the league, and the 33-year-old was named in the team of the year.

    As well as making a number on new additions, one of the major plus points for the Gers over the summer has been the fact they have managed to hold on to the majority of their star performers from the 2015/16 campaign.

    With Gedion Zelalem returning to Arsenal, Nicky Clark departing for Bury and former ‘Well man Nicky Law moving to Bradford among the main losses, Warburton’s squad didn’t take a big knock after all of its successes.

    Going in to the new season, the Gers look well prepared, adding depth, experience and youth to an already big squad.

    This season has seen a rather quiet start for the Light Blues though, with just a single match played in pre-season – a trip to South Carolina to face Charleston Battery. Warburton’s side won 2-1 thanks to goals from Josh Windass and Harry Forrester.

  • Archive

    New 2016/17 Macron Away kit

    Motherwell FC is tonight delighted to showcase the new 2016/17 Macron Away Kit.

    It’s the club’s third season with Italian manufacturer Macron and the first with new principal sponsors Motorpoint.

    After last week’s launch of the all amber home kit, and the white special edition 25th anniversary third kit, the club has opted for something a bit different for the away – an all denim blue kit.

    [pullquote]We are absolutely delighted with the really unique results and look forward to launching all three kits over the next few weeks.[/pullquote]

    All three kits are available to pre-order now from motherwelldirect.co.uk, either with our without the sponsors logo, with the Away kit itself available from Tuesday 2nd August 2016.

    PSL Managing Director Alan Provan said: “We wanted to go with a fairly traditional look and feel for the first and third kits, so worked with Macron to mix it up a little with the away kit.

    “We are absolutely delighted with the really unique results and look forward to launching all three kits over the next few weeks.”

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    McHugh – Rangers a great test

    ‘Well new boy Carl McHugh believes the BetFred League Cup match against Rangers will be a good indicator  for the squad.

    Sitting in the Motherwell press area for the first time since his switch from Plymouth Argyle, the 23-year-old spoke about his opposition for his first competitive fixture in Claret and Amber.

    The midfielder said: “Obviously it’ll be great to test yourself against teams like [Rangers]. They’ll be very strong and you’d expect them to be right up there this season when you look at some of the signings they’ve made, so it’s a great test for us.”

    But McHugh added: “It’s very early in season the league doesn’t start for a few more weeks and that’s the main priority; being ready for the league. But it’s a massive game for us and it will give us a good yardstick of where we are.

    “We’re all looking forward to it; it’s a massive game. It’s a little bit different from pre-season friendlies that you’d normally be playing at this time of year.”

    [pullquote]We’re all looking forward to it; it’s a massive game. It’s a little bit different from pre-season friendlies that you’d normally be playing at this time of year.[/pullquote]

    McHugh also discussed the reaction to his summer switch among the support of his old club.

    He said: “I was there for two years and I had a really good two years there, I played a lot of games and I had a really good relation with everyone at the club and I gave everything I could for the club every time I pulled on the shirt.

    “It’s just one of those things, there’s always a little bit of disappointment when you leave but I wish them all the best and I hope they have a really good season and go one step further than we did last year; we just couldn’t get over the line and get promoted.”

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    McGhee – We’ll be in right frame of mind

    ‘Well boss Mark McGhee insists his side will be going in to the BetFred League Cup match against Rangers in the right frame of mind. 

    And despite only playing one pre-season friendly, McGhee believes Rangers will be well prepared for Saturday’s clash.

    Speaking to the press today, he said: “It’s a competitive game and I think we’ve got our heads around that, so it won’t feel like a pre-season game for us and I’m sure it won’t for Rangers either.

    “I think it’s early for a competitive game and we’ll be playing a relatively fresh side with three or four new additions over the summer, who’ll be dipping their toes in the water going into a competitive game very quickly.”

    [pullquote]It’s a competitive game and I think we’ve got our heads around that, so it won’t feel like a pre-season game for us and I’m sure it won’t for Rangers either. [/pullquote]

    Following the 4-1 loss to Hibs, the manager also feels a lot better going in to the Rangers game, having addressed the issues he had with the performance at the weekend.

    He said: “We’ve had a look at it again and we’ve dug in to see what was going on and we’ve discovered that there was a lot going on that wasn’t the way that we normally do things – both as individuals and as a group, defensively in particular.

    “But there were things that when we saw it we thought, actually this isn’t too difficult to fix.

    “There were some fundamental things that we do as a group and we did last season that made us very difficult to beat at times, gave us a chance of winning games, and those things weren’t in place on Sunday.

    He added: “But we hope to have corrected those mistakes and be a lot, lot better on Saturday.”

  • Archive

    McLean in charge of Rangers clash

    McLeanRefereeI

    The referee for Saturday’s BetFred League Cup group stage match with Rangers at Fir Park will be Steven McLean.

    Last season, Steven took charge of four ‘Well fixtures at Fir Park – three league fixtures and a Scottish Cup clash.

    The first of the season arrived in August, when Louis Moult’s first half penalty gave the Steelmen a narrow 1-0 victory over Kilmarnock.

    The second was another narrow victory – the 2-1 success against Partick Thistle when an own goal and a Scott McDonald header gave ‘Well all three points.

    The final league game for McLean was a 2-2 draw with Hearts in late November, when the Steelmen were twice pegged back to draw despite goals from Moult and Marvin Johnson.

    And the last time McLean took to the pitch at Fir Park was in the Scottish Cup 5th Round, when a late wonder-strike sent the Steelmen crashing out of the competition.

    Now one of Scotland’s most recognisable whistlers, ‘Well fans will be familiar with the 34-year old.

    His overall record in charge of Motherwell reads fifteen wins, six defeats and four draws from twenty-five matches.

    In those games, ‘Well have scored 50 and conceded 41. 72 cautions have been dished out, 42 flashed at those wearing Claret and Amber.

    Four players have been sent off, two for ‘Well (Fraser Kerr and Keith Lasley in the same match against Killie in February 2013).

    McLean will be assisted by Graham Chamber and Dougie Potter; with Kevin Clancy on fourth official duties.

  • Archive

    Moult – I’ll play if I get the green light

    ‘Well striker Louis Moult admits he is desperate to play this Saturday despite his niggling injury and hopes to get the green light. 

    The 24-year-old Englishman is currently nursing a niggling injury, but the forward hopes it will not stop him playing.

    Moult said: “I want to play in every game I can. I’ll play Saturday if the gaffer gives me the green light. That’s the kind of person I am, I just want to get back on the pitch and score goals.

    “I’ve had one or two injuries before and, I’ll be honest with you, if I’m not in the starting 11 or I’m injured, I’m a nightmare to deal with. I’m not going to lie, my missus hates me.”

    Moult took a slight break from training today to launch the Steelmen’s new home kit at principal sponsors Motorpoint in Glasgow today.

    And, speaking to MFC TV, he admitted it has been frustrating, but added: “I love playing football and being happy playing football. That’s what makes me tick, it’s all I have ever known.”

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    Motorpoint announced as new principal sponsor

    Today, Tuesday 12th July, Motherwell Football Club is delighted to announce that the Club’s new principal sponsor for Season 16/17 is Motorpoint, the UK’s largest independent car retailer.

    Chief Operating Officer Alan Burrows commented: “We’re delighted to welcome Motorpoint as our new principal sponsor. Over the last few years, we’ve grown our relationship with Motorpoint and delighted they’ve expanded their portfolio from the shorts to the shirt.

    Motorpoint will be using their sponsorship to engage with fans promoting money can’t buy experiences, aimed at bringing their customers and staff closer to the players and management of the Fir Park side.

    Adam Gilmore, General Manager of Motorpoint Glasgow, said: “Motorpoint is delighted to become the Official Club sponsor of Motherwell Football Club.

    “We have formed a great partnership with the Steelmen since 2010, both on and off the field, and the opportunity for the Motorpoint logo to appear on the first team shirt is a hugely exciting and high profile development for the company and one that we look forward to building upon over the coming 2016-17 season as we continue to establish Motorpoint as the car buyers champion in Scotland.”

    Last season’s top scorer, Louis Moult is pictured below with the new 16/17 Macron home kit, which is available to fans for pre-order.

  • Archive

    Rangers Ticket information

    Tickets are still available for Saturday’s Betfred Cup game with Rangers at Fir Park.

    Tickets are priced as follows and are available from the Fir Park ticket office, which has extended opening hours on Thursday:

    ADULTS:   £15
    CONCESSIONS:                           £10
    JUVENILES:   £5

    Ticker office opening hours.

    Tuesday9.15am – 4.30pm
    Wednesday9.15am – 4.30pm
    Thursday9.15am – 7.00pm
    Friday9.15am – 3.30pm

    Fans should take note of the following information in relation to the tie, which will be an all-ticket match.

    1. 2016/17 Season Ticket holders will have the option to purchase tickets for the match by using Voucher A from their book (maximum of three tickets per voucher). Current Season Ticket holders who have renewed or bought, but haven’t as yet received their books, can collect at the same time as purchasing their League Cup ticket(s), if they so wish. Fans can also renew or buy their Season Tickets at the same time too.

    2. Fans who haven’t renewed or bought their season ticket for 2016/17 can still buy tickets, but must have been a season ticket holder in the previous three years, have bought home end tickets over the last three seasons or are a ‘Well Society member on or before 26th May 2016. Please note, this is not applicable in the Phil O’Donnell Stand where, due to space restrictions, only those who have bought (or will buy/renew prior to the match) their 2016/17 Season Ticket will have the option to buy three tickets (as per point 1).

    3. In both points 1 and 2, the club will endeavour to allocate tickets together, but in situations such as the Phil O’Donnell Centre Stand, it might not always be possible.

    4. Visiting fans will be housed in the South Stand behind the goal at Fir Park. There will be no additional provisions in the wings of the Phil O’Donnell Stand, both of which will be closed for this match. Visiting fans should purchase their tickets direct from Rangers FC – there will no sale of away tickets from Fir Park either before or on the day of the match.

    5. Any fan purchasing tickets on behalf of others should note they take full responsibility for that person(s).

    6. Concessions are considered to be over 60s, full time students with a valid matriculation card and young adults aged 16-18 (proof of age may be required). Juveniles are listed as Under 16s.

  • Archive

    TV: Highlights from Easter Road

    Highlights from Motherwell’s final pre-season game at Easter Road.

  • Archive

    McGhee – We were off the pace

    ‘Well boss Mark McGhee admitted there weren’t many positives after losing 4-1 away to Hibs today.

    Despite a promising opening fifteen minutes, the Fir Parkers let their early lead slip in their final pre-season game before facing Rangers next weekend.

    The manager admitted his side were off the pace. He said: “We’ve been given a good workout that’s for sure; we’ve been made to chase and been made to work hard to contain Hibs.

    “I thought Hibs were excellent today and we were way off the pace that they were, so we can see that we’ve got quite a bit to go.”

    However, McGhee knows that the performance levels of his team will only increase with game-time.

    [pullquote]Other than it’s another game towards fitness, we can’t take many positives, but we know there’s obviously a lot for us to do and consider.”[/pullquote]

    He added: “Other than it’s another game towards fitness, we can’t take many positives, but we know there’s obviously a lot for us to do and consider.”

    Having come through pre-season with no major injuries, it looked worrying that there may have been a couple of knocks picked up, but the manager insisted there is nothing to worry about.

    He said: “Marvin hit a nerve and it was sore at the time but we’re fine and Jacob got hit in the face but it was nothing serious.”

    McGhee’s men host Rangers at Fir Park on Saturday, and the pre-season preparations go on for Motherwell this coming week.