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  • Archive

    Club Statement: Scott McDonald

  • Archive

    Moore re-joins Ayr United on loan

  • Archive

    Helen Templeton’s Blog #25

  • Archive

    Annan Athletic ticket information

  • Archive

    Rangers defeat in pictures

  • Archive

    McGhee – We had the better chances

  • Archive

    Motherwell 0 – 2 Rangers

  • Archive

    Motherwell v Rangers: A closer look

  • Archive

    New 2016/17 Macron Away kit

  • Archive

    McHugh – Rangers a great test

  • Archive

    Club Statement: Scott McDonald

    Motherwell FC can this morning confirm an offer from an Australian A League Club for Scott McDonald has been rejected.

    Whilst no official bid was received until around 12 noon AEST today (3am UK), ‘Well boss Mark McGhee and Chief Operating Officer Alan Burrows spoke at length with the player yesterday (Wednesday) afternoon and a positive consensus was reached, meaning Scott will remain a Motherwell FC player for at least one more season.

    ‘Well boss Mark McGhee said: “Scott is an extremely important part of our plans as we believe he is one of the very best strikers in the country.

    [pullquote]Scott is an extremely important part of our plans as we believe he is one of the very best strikers in the country.[/pullquote]

    “Alan Burrows and I chatted with the player for some time on Wednesday and there was a lot of common ground. It’s obvious Scott has a deep affinity for the club and wants to try and help us in this new season.

    “The actual interest came fairly out the blue and the prospect of a return home is obviously intriguing for anyone in that scenario, however, it was also clear he still feels there is unfinished business in the SPFL, which was great for us.

    “That meant, when an official did eventually come in during the night, it was a fairly simple one for us to politely reject.”

  • Archive

    Moore re-joins Ayr United on loan

    Motherwell FC can today confirm that Craig Moore has completed his loan move and has re-joined Ayr United for the 2016/17 season.

    The 21-year-old forward enjoyed a positive season in League One with Ian McCall’s side as the club secured promotion to the Championship.

    [pullquote]We think Craig’s a great player, but he won’t be getting much game time here with us.[/pullquote]

    ‘Well boss Mark McGhee said: “We think Craig’s a great player, but the way things have worked, we need to be a little clever with our budgets.

    “It’s about him getting as much game time as possible and we’ll see where he is come December. We have a call-back option in January, so that gives us some flexibility.”

  • Archive

    Helen Templeton’s Blog #25

     Follow ‘Dibsy’ on Twitter 

    Mark Kirk has recently been appointed his first managerial post in the Women’s game as he takes over at the helm of Motherwell LFC.

    Mark comes to the club with an array of experience already behind him having been involved in coaching roles at not only Rangers and Hamilton Ladies, but also at East Kilbride FC in the Lowland league.

    The new boss is eager to make an impression and already has his sights set on league silverware! Let’s meet the new man in charge.

    Mark Kirk

    Name: Mark Kirk

    Age: 28

    Newly appointed position within the club:

    Head Coach at first team Ladies squad.

    How did you get involved at the club:

    I’ve been involved in the game now a long time and when this post came up, it seemed too good an opportunity to miss. I’ve been really grateful for all I have learned from those I have worked with in the past, but I’m ready for a new challenge and so, here I am!

    How many years have you been coaching:

    In all, I have been coaching 10 years and working at various levels from children to adults, both male and female.

    Previous coaching roles:

    In Women’s football I have worked with Rangers and Hamilton Accies Ladies teams as a reserve head coach and assistant to the first team. In that time I also managed EKFC amateurs providing pathway for the lowland league side. I have really enjoyed what I have done so far but I am excited for the challenges that lay ahead.

    Were you involved as a player before taking on a managerial role at Motherwell FC:

    Yes, I have been lucky enough to have played for many years, often against the likes of Motherwell in my youth! (Which seems a long time ago now!) I really enjoyed my time as a player but my passion for coaching and management is what drives me now.

    Have you always had an interest in Women’s football:

    Yes. I had been introduced to woman’s football 8 years ago by Kevin Murphy. At that time Kevin was Manager at Hamilton Accies LFC but is now in charge at Rangers Ladies. He asked me to deliver a few sessions at Hamilton and my interest has grown ever since.

    Are you impressed with the level of ability within the Scottish women’s game:

    From my time in Women’s football I have been very impressed with the ability and strides in the game. I believe the level of ability will continue to increase due to girls having more opportunities now to play. I know I have inherited a squad with an abundance of talent and I am already looking forward to what we can achieve together in the future.

    What impresses you the most about the set up at Motherwell FC:

    The club is fantastic. The vision and plans for the future are inspiring. The size of the club for me is key and the full pathway and how hard they work in the community is second to none.

    What inspired you to accept the managerial role at the Women’s first team:

    I’ve seen the ladies play many times and that was enough to get my attention. The potential is endless. I think for me, the ambition, desire and drive of everyone involved to get this team to the level they want to be competing at is inspiring.

    Tell us a bit more about your job role, what are your key objectives:

    I will be responsible for managing team selection, tactics, training and matches.

    I will also be keeping a close eye on development to make sure we have players coming through our pathway to our first team. My vision is to continue to develop and strengthen a healthy positive and high performance culture at the club.

    What qualities do you look for in a player:

    I think for me, good work rate, attitude and personal traits are the top 3.

    You have inherited a talented and experienced squad who are already half way through their competitive season and going strong…some may say a managers dream! What are you looking forward to the most working with this squad?

    I find it a unique position to be joining the club mid season. The team has been performing really well in recent weeks and are going strong in the league, currently sitting on the top spot. I look forward to sharing my aspirations and ambitions with the squad very soon.

    How would you describe your coaching style:

    Attacking, penetrative football.

    What are your aspirations for the Ladies first team:

    Short term, my target is promotion to SWPL2. My long term aspiration is to be a competitive premier league club. I am aware there may be obstacles on the way, but it’s a challenge I will thrive upon.

    What goals have you set for the team for the second half of the season:

    I have yet to sit down with the players due to the mid-season break however it will be simply to strive for promotion.

    How do you plan on achieving these goals:

    For me it’s fairly simple. Players will need to demonstrate a hard work ethic at training and in games. There will be a real focus on individual and collective team performances.

    What does success look like for you:

    Accomplishing goals and targets set in a positive hardworking environment, starting with me, the coaching staff, the players and club together.

    What are your personal aspirations as a coach:

    To manage at the highest level in Scottish Women’s Football.

    Thanks for the chat Mark. I know everyone at Motherwell Ladies is looking forward to working with you, all the best of luck to you and your squad in achieving your goals. I’m sure I’ll be catching up with you again at the close of season and hopefully celebrating a league promotion!

    Follow Mark Kirk, new Motherwell LFC manager on Twitter @markkirk88

    Follow me on twitter @dibsy_

  • Archive

    Annan Athletic ticket information

    Tickets for Motherwell’s Betfred Cup clash with Annan Athletic are still available to purchase.

    As of Monday afternoon, there are approximately 600 tickets left of the 992 tickets allocated to Motherwell supporters.

    Fans can get their tickets from the Fir Park ticket office priced at:

    ADULTS:   £12
    CONCESSIONS:                           £6
    • Concessions are listed as Over 65s and Under 16s
  • Archive

    Rangers defeat in pictures

    Action images from today’s 0-2 loss to Rangers at Fir Park.

    Snaps courtesy of SNSPix

    [svgallery name=”rangers160716″]

  • Archive

    McGhee – We had the better chances

    ‘Well boss Mark McGhee was disappointed to lose to Rangers in the BetFred League Cup today, but believed his side performed well and had the better chances.

    A late strike from Martyn Waghorn put the game beyond Motherwell and denied the Fir Parkers any hopes of a bonus-point penalty shoot-out on a day when the ‘Well were extremely unlucky not to take anything from the match.

    But manager Mark McGhee, despite being frustrated by the result, was impressed by his players and is encouraged heading in to the new season.

    He said: “It’s a huge disappointment not getting anything from the game or at least not taking it to penalties – but the performance was good.

    [pullquote]We went out there today not knowing what it would feel like but there were a lot of positives in it. [/pullquote]

    “We went out there today not knowing what it would feel like but there were a lot of positives in it.

    He added: “The new boys came in and did well and I was happy with that.

    “But to be honest Rangers play different from us, they’re going to keep more possession but that’s not the way we play. We had the better chances than Rangers and they had the ball in front of us a lot but that didn’t trouble us and we were disciplined.

    “Maybe that’s why this was a good game after all; it got us focussed.”

    Joe Chalmers featured in midfield today in the absence of captain Keith Lasley, and the manager was happy with his performance.

    He said: “We think Joe’s a good player, he’s got a lot of ability and he even has more than he showed today. He did a good job in there, he was disciplined and he even shaved his beard a bit more to make himself look like more of a player and I was pleased with that.

    Looking ahead to Annan Athletic next Saturday, McGhee added: “It won’t be about rotation, I’ll be fielding the strongest team I can get out there to win the game against Annan.”

  • Archive

    Motherwell 0 – 2 Rangers

    [tab:Match report]

    Motherwell hosted Rangers in the first competitive game of the new season and were unlucky to lose by two goals to nil.

    The Steelmen were without captain Keith Lasley, who was serving a suspension from last season, and last seasons top-scorer Louis Moult started on the bench after struggling through the week with injury.

    But it didn’t look like the Steelmen would struggle with these absences when they got off to a high-flying start.

    An incredible opening few minutes saw Johnson beat the offside trap and race down the line, his squared pass fell to Ainsworth at a tight angle and it was cleared off the line; agonisingly close for the ‘Well.

    And the home side went close again just a minute later as McDonald picked up a short back pass in the box, but his effort was turned behind for a corner.

    The resulting set-piece was well cleared by the visitors, who were on the back foot early after some exciting play from Mark McGhee’s men.

    Rangers skipper Lee Wallace fired one over the bar from ten yards, but Samson remained untested after the opening ten minutes.

    On eleven minutes Motherwell were inches away from the lead yet again. A brilliant run on the break from Ainsworth saw him slip in Cadden, who drew his shot wide of the far post.

    Six minutes later, Motherwell went close again. Johnson burst through the middle and his strike was tipped past the woodwork by Foderingham.

    Just before the 20th minute, Rangers nearly tested Samson, but Halliday’s ambitious strike from 30 yards dropped over the bar.

    And it wasn’t until the 23rd minute that Rangers tested the ‘Well stopper, when Barrie McKay slipped in Waghorn, and last season’s top scorer in the Championship hit a vicious strike on goal that Samson tipped over for a corner.

    The resulting corner was worked to Tavernier, who crossed deep for Kenny Miller, but the veteran strikers header flied across goal and out for a goal-kick.

    Just before the half-hour mark, Motherwell had a great double chance; Ainsworth was involved yet again as his cross was miss-hit by Cadden, but it dropped to Johnson who fired over.

    Some patient build-up play from the Ibrox side couldn’t work its way past a sturdy Motherwell defence, and Wallace overhit his pass which ran out for a Motherwell goal-kick.

    McManus showed his experience and composure at the back, when a deflection fell to the feet of Wallace who just had the skipper to beat, but McManus stood strong and stepped in with expert timing to knick the ball away.

    On the 34th minute, Miller hit the target with a header from six yards, but it lacked any real pace and was simple for Samson.

    Incredibly neat footwork by McHugh on the edge of the Steelmen’s box allowed the midfielder to swivel and play Johnson down the line; Motherwell’s number eleven drove the length of the pitch but his strike rose over Foderingham’s goal.

    A late challenge on McDonald from Kiernan forced Steven McLean to blow his whistle for a free-kick just outside the Gers box. That led to an inch-perfect cross from Ainsworth that was nearly put in the back of the Rangers net but McDonald couldn’t quite get enough on it and it remained goalless.

    Marvin Johnson brought down Tavernier around 25 yards out, but the full-back pulled himself up to take the set-piece, curling one over the wall and safely into the arms of Samson.

    A neat back-heel from Waghorn to play in Miller was one of Rangers best chances of the half, but Miller blazed his shot well wide from ten yards.

    On the stroke of half-time, a loose header was hit on the volley by Waghorn, skimming the roof of the net as it went over.

    But that was the last bit of action in an even first-half where Motherwell were unlucky not to be in the lead.

    And it didn’t take long for Rangers to take the lead. Three minutes in to the half and Tavernier put the visitors ahead.

    Some neat play from Motherwell in the midfield led Richard Tait to get in behind down the right had side, but the full backs cross was too close to Foderingham, who gathered it in two hands.

    A cynical foul from Harry Forrester halted the Fir Parkers on the break and it resulted in the first booking of the day.

    Tavernier was involved again just five minutes later. The full-back cut inside and teed up Forrester whose powerful strike crashed off the bar.

    Motherwell broke away superbly yet again, with Richard Tait clipping a ball down the line to McDonald who turned and fed in McHugh who then played in Chalmers who crossed brilliantly in to the area, but McDonald wasn’t expecting the ball to drop to his feet and it skipped out for a goal kick.

    Just before the hour mark, Mark McGhee brought off Joe Chalmers in place for last seasons top-scorer Louis Moult.

    Two minutes later Harry Forrester and Kenny Miller were both brought off for O’Halloran and new signing Kranjcar.

    And the Croatian midfielder was involved straight away, the ball dropped to him 5 yards from goal but he completely mis-kicked it and the danger was thwarted by the ‘Well.

    On the 67th minute, Kranjcar had another effort that he yet again screwed wide without threatening Samson.

    McGhee then brought off Lionel Ainsworth and replaced him with Dom Thomas.

    Johnson cut inside from the right and fired a shot on goal from all of 30-yards, but it was high and wide from the winger from what would’ve been a screamer.

    Rangers new signing Josh Windass was introduced to the action in place of Holt and immediately looked lively, skipping past a challenge but being taken off the ball in powerful and fair fashion by McHugh to deny him the dream start. The ball ran into the path of O’Halloran who brought out a great save from Samson and McKay blazed the rebound well over the open goal.

    At the opposite end, Motherwell went closer. A brilliant cross was met by the head of Louis Moult but it flashed inches wide of the mark.

    Some intricate work by Scott McDonald in the Rangers box worked a yard or two for the Aussie, but his shot just went over and Rangers held their lead.

    Windass broke free down the right flank and his low cross looked threatening, but it was well defended by the Steelmen.

    Carl McHugh went in to the book with twelve minutes remaining, and at the other end, a cynical foul led to a free kick for the ‘Well.

    Before it was taken, McGhee introduced Jacob Blyth and from the resulting set piece the Fir Parkers were close to drawing level, but Rangers survived the attack.

    Josh Windass dragged a rampaging Scott McDonald to the floor and was booked by McLean with just under ten minutes left.

    ‘Well boss McGhee was enraged after Marvin Johnson was tripped and play was waved on, and Rangers were calling for a hand-ball from Samson a minute later, but the play was waved on again.

    There were more calls for a handball from the travelling support, but it was clearly waved on by McLean.

    As the Rangers fans started cheering their teams every pass, Dom Thomas interrupted their rhythm by picking the ball up in the opposition half and playing in McHugh who swept it wide to Johnson, but his cross was collected by Foderingham.

    And in injury time, Martyn Waghorn doubled the visitors lead and silenced the home fans. The Englishman curled a neat finish round Samson to secure all three points for the Ibrox outfit.

    It was a frustrating day for the Steelmen, who were denied yet again when Heneghan’s header was heading in but was cleared off the line.

    [tab:As it happened]

     Lewis Irons at Fir Park

    FT: Motherwell 0 -2 Rangers

    90+3mins: Another two unbelievable chances. Heneghan’s header is cleared off the line again. The rebound is then hooked over. So frustrating

    90+2mins: McDonald’s shot is heading at goal, but it’s blocked on route for a corner!

    90mins+1: The forward has too much time to line up a shot and curls it past Samson, in off the post.

    GOAL Rangers! Martin Waghorn makes it 0-2 to Rangers with a curling effort from the edge of the area…

    89mins: Marvin runs at Wallace, goes past him, but his cross is just about plucked out the air by the Rangers keeper.

    87mins: Another handball shout as the ball hits Heneghan on route. It definitely hit his hand, but did he mean it. No penalty anyway.

    85mins: Just before that, ‘Well lucky to get away with a call as the ball struck Samson’s elbow outside the box. Nothing doing from the ref.

    85mins: Johnson cuts in from the left hand side and drills a shot high over the bar into the Cooper Stand.

    83mins: Mark McGhee being spoken too – he’s enraged after Johnson appeared to have been tripped…

    82mins: McDonald tries a neat little clip towards Blyth in the box, but it clears everyone and runs out for a goal kick.

    81mins: Windass picks up a yellow card for a little shirt pull on Scott McDonald…

    79mins: ‘Well going for it, but leaving space at the back as Rangers look to hit on the counter. Can the Steelmen get level… #COYW

    79mins: Another ‘Well chance – Heneghan gets on the end of a Johnson free-kick, but his header drops inches wide of target. Aggggghhhhhhhh!!

    78mins: Final sub – another attacker on – Blyth comes on for Cadden.

    76mins: McHugh is booked for a swiping challenge on O’Halloran who hits the deck.

    75mins: Windass bursts clear down the right, his cross causes problems but the Steelmen scramble it clear. Corner.

    73mins: Good play between Moult & McDonald in the final third. The Aussie eventually takes on the shot, but pulls it wide.

    71mins: Awww, Moult’s got to score. Sublime cross from Tait, picks out the sub, but from six yards out he heads wide of target. Frustrating!

    69mins: Rangers should score! O’Halloran brings out a terrific save from Samson. McKay, with goal at his mercy, blazes the rebound over.

    68mins: Rangers make their final sub – Windass comes on to replace Holt.

    67mins: Rangers subs causing problems. O’Halloran gets one on one with Hammell, but his shot is deflected over for a corner.

    66mins: Marvin Johnson takes on a shot from about 35 yards, but it’s very high and wide… Ambitious from the winger.

    66mins: Second Steelmen sub – Dom Thomas is on for Lionel Ainsworth.

    65mins: Kranjčar almost in again, drifting towards the back post, but his shot is off target.

    64mins: Moult gets involved again, picking up on the right, cutting in but his shot is off target.

    62mins: Chances at both ends – Niko Kranjčar almost scores with his first touch but its saved. Down other end, Moult’s lob is saved.

    61mins: Rangers subs… Niko Kranjčar and Michael O’Halloran are on for Miller and Forrerster.

    60mins: McDonald booked for a challenge on Halliday.

    59mins: ‘Well sub – Joe Chalmers comes off and is replaced by Louis Moult, who is struggling with a knock. #COYW

    56mins: Wee half chance there, Chalmers clips up a ball towards McDoanld, but he can’t control it and the chance is gone.

    53mins: Rangers go close to doubling their lead, Tavernier again causing problems, cutting it back for Forrerster who hits the bar.

    51mins: Harry Forrester booked for ‘taking one for the team’ style foul on Johnson as the ‘Well man burst clear on the counter.

    47mins: Rangers get the ball in advanced postion, he cuts it back for the full back and he curls a shot high past Samson into the top corner

    GOAL Rangers. James Tavernier puts Rangers 0-1 up.

    45mins: Motherwell get the second half going… #COYW

    HT: Motherwell 0 – 0 Rangers. Fairly even stuff so far, Rangers having more of the ball, but ‘Well maybe shading the chances.

    43mins: Rangers go close, Waghorn gets on the end of McManus’ header, but his can only control a volley narrowly over the crossbar.

    42mins: Neat Rangers move on the edge of the ‘Well area, Waghorn flicks it into the path of Miller, but he screws a shot wide of target.

    41mins: James Tavernier takes it himself, but it’s good hands from Samson, who holds on despite the bounce right in front of him…

    40mins: Chalmers pulled up for a trip on Tavernier. Rangers free-kick 30 yards out, right of centre…

    37mins: Awww, McDonald’s got to score. Ainsworth’s near post ball falls for the Aussie striker, but he can’t get enough on it and its saved.

    36mins: McDonald wins a free-kick from Kiernen – it’ll allow Ainsworth to swing one into the box…

    35mins: Johnson shows Halliday a clean pair of heels, but with McDonald in the middle, he takes on a shot, but it sails high into the stand,

    33mins: Miller sends in a deep, searching cross from the right, but Waghorn’s header bounces into the ground and held by Samson.

    29mins: Full back Tavernier wins a corner for his side, his shot from distance deflected around the post on route.

    27mins: ‘Well record another double chance. Ainsworth’s cross is miss-hit by Cadden. It lands at Johnson, but he blazes it over the bar.

    24mins: From the resulting corner, Rangers work it to Tavernier who throws over a back post cross to Miller, but he heads it wide of target.

    23mins: Rangers register their first shot on target, McKay plays in Waghorn. who hits a strike from the edge that Samson tips over. Corner.

    21mins: Rangers have a free-kick in a good position after Ainsworth’s hand ball.

    19mins: Rangers reply via midfielder Andy Halliday, but his touch and hit from 30 yards drops a foot or so over the bar.

    17mins: Yet another chance for ‘Well – Johnson bursts through the middle, but his low shot is tipped around the post by Foderingham!

    10mins: Yet another good chance for the Fir Parkers, Ainsworth teeing up Cadden but he sclaffed a low shot inches wide of target.

    6mins: Rangers’ captain Lee Wallace has the visitor’s first shot at goal, but is drills high over Samson’s bar from about 10 yards or so.

    4mins: Johnson goes down under pressure from James Tavernier… ‘Well fans screaming for a foul, but right call from ref Steven McLean.

    3mins: Awww, so close again. McDonald picks up on a short back pass, but his shot is well saved by Rangers’ keeper Wes Foderingham. Corner!

    1min: Great play from Johnson down the left, his cross found his fellow winger at the far side, but his low shot is somehow hoofed clear.

    1min: So close, Lionel Ainsworth almost puts the Steelmen ahead, but Halliday somehow kicks the ball off the line.

    0mins: Rangers get the game going here at Fir Park…

    [tab:Reaction]

    Motherwell manager Mark McGhee:

    “As far as we are concerned we made enough chances to at least get to penalty-kicks.

    “Rangers play different to us, they have a lot more possession, but we know that and we were comfortable with that. In between them having possession, we made the best chances but didn’t take them.

    “And I think that reflects the fact that it’s only two weeks into pre-season training and people like Marvin and Scott McDonald will get sharper.”

    Rangers Manager Mark Warburton:

    “Considering it was our first competitive game, we lost out on a few one v ones and gave the ball away cheaply early on but after that it was a very pleasing afternoon’s work.

    “I’ll look at the game again because we could have been one or two down at the start and we should have stopped their chances.

    “But then we took care of the football and won the one v ones, got tighter in key areas and, from the 15th to the 90th minute, there was only one team in it.”

    [tab:Man-of-the-match]

    [poll id=”275″]

  • Archive

    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.”

  • Archive

    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.”