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    Motherwell 2 – 0 Partick Thistle

  • Archive

    Jags matchday magazine preview

  • Archive

    Meet Richard Tait and Ben Heneghan

  • Archive

    McGhee chats to MFC TV

  • Archive

    Partick Thistle: A closer look

  • Archive

    Partick Thistle: Last time out

  • Archive

    Survey: My Club, My views

  • Archive

    McDonald: We’re well prepared

  • Archive

    McGhee: Focussed on Partick clash

  • Archive

    Dallas in charge of Partick clash

  • Archive

    Motherwell 2 – 0 Partick Thistle

    [tab:Match report]

    A hard-working Motherwell picked up a well-deserved three points at home to Partick Thistle this afternoon.

    Goals from Louis Moult and Scott McDonald gave the Fir Parkers a comfortable half-time lead and a resilient showing in the second 45 secured the victory and confirmed the clean sheet.

    A slight change of shape brought about a change in fortunes for the Steelmen as Mark McGhee’s side bounced back to winning ways.

    David Ferguson and Jack McMillan came in to the starting eleven in place of Stevie Hammell and Lionel Ainsworth and the side switched to a 3-5-2 formation. That directly matched the shape of Thistle, who arrived at Fir Park on the back of a decent run of form.

    As things got underway, neither side really got a hold of the game as the opening exchanges were equally scrappy and quiet in terms of chances.

    However, after 14 minutes Motherwell opened the scoring after Thistle stopper Thorsten Stuckmann spilled the ball and Moult capitalised to guide home from McDonald’s cross.

    Moments later, Richard Tait should have added Motherwell’s second. The full-back connected with a deep cross to lob the keeper with a header, only for the ball to sail inches wide of the post.

    There were a couple of penalty shouts for Motherwell after the opening goal.

    The first would have been harsh on Thistle as Craig Clay’s powerful effort collided with a Jags defender in the area. Referee Andrew Dallas correctly waved play on.

    However the second incident was far more clear cut, as Scott McDonald was hurled to the floor by Partick captain Abdul Osman. The match official refused to blow for a foul and the shouts around Fir Park were ignored.

    However, just minutes later McDonald, who was incorrectly denied a goal in the reverse fixture with Thistle earlier this season, got himself his sixth goal of the season to add to Moult’s opener.

    Motherwell’s number nine turned provider for McDonald as he squared for the former Aussie International to curl neatly past Stuckmann in the 38th minute.

    At the half-time break, Thistle boss Alan Archibald made a change – bringing off Ryan Edwards for Kris Doolan.

    The ‘Well continued to press for a third and Richard Tait almost replicated his goal against Ross County when he surged forward after 52 minutes, but his fizzing low effort deflected wide.

    Just two minutes later and it was so nearly a third – Chris Cadden, picking up the ball in the middle of the park, drove forward and struck a fantastic effort towards goal, but it clipped the crossbar as it flew past the helpless Stuckmann.

    Thistle made all three changes across the period of the second half as they chased a way back in to the match, but a sturdy Steelmen defence kept the advancing Glaswegian side at bay.

    Stephen McManus in particular won everything that was thrown his way, as Ben Heneghan and David Ferguson slotted in and mopped up around the experienced centre-back.

    Ade Azeez was afforded a few chances in front of goal, but Samson was rarely tested throughout the match and the stopper was rewarded with a clean sheet.

    There was added reward for the Fir Parkers as they surged in to the top six, and while it is still early doors, the spirit will certainly be high among the squad.

    [tab:As it happened]

     Alastair Reilly at Fir Park

    FT | Motherwell 2 – 0 Partick Thistle.

    Clean sheet and three points, not a bad afternoon’s work!

    91′ | 2-0

    Bookings for Booth and Tait. Bit of handbags in the corner as the Thistle player got frustrated and hacked away at Moult.

    90′ | 2-0

    Two minutes added on.

    85′ | 2-0

    Booking for Osman. Clattered through the back of Cadden and rightly shown the yellow.

    82′ | 2-0

    Moult slides in McDonald who, as the defence recover, opts to square to Cadden but the pass is cut out.

    MATCH ATTAX | Young ‘Well fans can vote now for their Man of the Match. Simply tweet your name, age, choice and #MatchAttaxMOTM now.

    79′ | 2-0

    Lawless tries his luck with a left-footed shot from 30 yards but again it is routine for Samson

    76′ | 2-0

    Clay gets into the box but Devine pokes it wide for a corner.

    75′ | 2-0

    Another Thistle change, this time Amoo is on for Elliot.

    72′ | 2-0

    Azeez spins his man well but again his end product is missing. Fires well over from 12 yards

    69′ | 2-0

    Free header for Azeez 8 yards out but his effort loops harmlessly over the bar

    68′ | 2-0

    Thistle sub, Erskine makes way for Lawless

    61′ | 2-0

    Slack pas in midfield allows Doolan with a bit of space. He opts for a shot from range but its easy for Samson.

    56′ | 2-0

    Barton with a ridiculous swandive which ref doesnt buy. ‘Well take quick throw but Clay’s shot is blocked by his own man.

    54′ | 2-0

    So close! Loose ball is picked up by Cadden, he drives forward and fires a shot from 25 yards which hits the top of the bar!

    52′ | 2-0

    Very similar to his goal against Ross County, Tait gets forward but this time his shot deflects wide for a corner

    48′ | 2-0

    Lindsay again gets forward and gets a good shot away which is inches wide of Samson’s left post.

    Thistle get the second 45 underway.

    One change at the break for Thistle, Doolan on for Edwards.

    HT’ | Motherwell 2 – 0 Partick Thistle #MFCvPTFC

    45′ | 2-0

    Welsh booked for hacking down McDonald.

    Two minutes added on…

    44′ | 2-0

    Ferguson down with an injury. Looked like a bad tackle as he got sandwiched between two Thistle players. Ref disagrees.

    38′ | 2-0

    Moult gets down the right, puts it on a place for McDONALD who fires superbly past Stuckmann! 2-0 to Motherwell!!!

    GGGGOOOOAAALLL!!!!

    37′ | 1-0

    Strong claims for a penalty as McDonald gets past his man and is hauled down but nothing given!

    31′ | 1-0

    Moult outpaces Devine and his deflected shot is palmed out to Clay whose shot is drilled at Lindsay. Claims of handball waved away

    26′ | 1-0

    CLOSE! Moult has a shot blocked and on the second attempt, forces a good close-range save from Stuckmann!

    16′ | 1-0

    So close to 2! Tait sneaks in between two defenders and gets a heeader away but it drifts inches past the post!

    14′ | 1-0

    It’s that man @louismoult who capitalises on a poor attempted punch from Stuckmann, allowing him to volley into the empty net!!

    GGOOOOAALL!!

    …clips it toward Moult but Devine sweeps it clear.

    11′ | 0-0

    Free-kick to ‘Well, as Clay goes down under pressure from Edwards. 20 yards out, McDonald to take….

    7′ | 0-0

    Lindsay advances forward and the centre back gets a good low shot on target which forces Samson to dive low and save

    5′ | 0-0

    Moult wins the first corner of the game…….6 foot 5′ Stuckmann comes out and punches clear, but ref says he is fouled

    Lasley gets the game underway for the Steelmen. COYW!

    [tab:Reaction]

    Motherwell manager Mark McGhee:

     

    Partick Thistle manager Alan Archibald:

     

    [tab:Man-of-the-match]

    [poll id=”296″]

  • Archive

    Jags matchday magazine preview

    The ninth issue of the Steelmen matchday magazine is on sale ahead of tomorrow’s league clash with Partick Thistle at Fir Park.

    Here, we take a look at what can be found inside the 68-page programme.

    Regular pieces including the pre-match column from manager Mark McGhee and club captain Keith Lasley, along with ‘5 Fast Facts’ and ‘Getting to Know You’ – where skipper Keith Lasley is profiled – all remain in the ninth issue of the 2016/17 season.

    The all-new feature exclusive to the programme called ‘Well in Numbers’, where feature writer Andrew Paterson looks at some of the key numbers in Motherwell history, continues too.

    This weeks feature interview is with tricky winger Lionel Ainsworth, who talks about the season so far and his aspirations as a player and for the team.

    ‘Future Steel’ is an inside look at the next generation of players waiting patiently to break in to the first team and this week, 18-year-old Allan Campbell is profiled.

    As part of the clubs aims to work closely with the Motherwell FC Community Trust and The ‘Well Society, regular updates are included in the programme.

    This week’s main features on tomorrow’s opposition remain, including an in-depth look at Partick as well as this season’s new ‘Tactics Board’, where we profile Alan Archibald’s previous starting eleven.

    Our match reports section looks back on the Fir Parkers 2-0 loss away to Dundee two weeks ago.

    An update on Stephen Craigan’s U20s side is included too, reporting on the youngster’s recent results against Hearts and Dundee, as well as the start of their Scottish FA Youth Cup defence.

    Get all the latest from the Ticket Office as well as an in-depth look at tomorrow’s match-officials.

    All this and more is available for £3 and is on sale from the Club Shop as well as the usual sellers located in and around the ground pre-match.

    You can also order back editions or take a subscription to the magazine for the rest of the season by visiting the website of our publishers, Curtis-Sports.

  • Archive

    Meet Richard Tait and Ben Heneghan

    The ‘Signing Zone’ continues this week prior to tomorrow’s fixture against Partick Thistle.

    So why not come to Fir Park tomorrow afternoon and meet first-team stars Richard Tait and Ben Heneghan, who will be in The Well Shop’s ‘Signing Zone’ from 12:45pm until 1:15pm to meet fans, sign autographs and pose for selfies.

    Fans have the opportunity to meet the two summer signings who penned Fir Park deals on the same day and have since become a solid part of the Motherwell defence.

    Each week, two different players will take their seats as the season progresses as part of the developing fan engagement programme here at Fir Park.

    Share your pics on twitter @motherwellfc using #MFCSigningZone or facebook.com/motherwellfc

    The club shop is situated at the Cooper Stand and is open from 9.30am.

  • Archive

    McGhee chats to MFC TV

    Mark McGhee revealed that he is looking forward to getting stuck back in to domestic football tomorrow afternoon.

    Speaking to MFC TV, the ‘Well boss admitted that preparations have been good ahead of the clash with Partick.

    He also expressed the importance of the coming weeks as well as the fixture at Fir Park tomorrow.

    McGhee said: “I was back up on Monday morning after Faddy had done a good job last week keeping the boys ticking over and they look fit enough and sharp enough.

    [pullquote]We’ve had a good week this week too, we had a couple of sessions on Tuesday and we’ve prepared for the game on Thursday and it was a sharp session this morning too so I’m pleased with it.[/pullquote]

    “We’ve had a good week this week too, we had a couple of sessions on Tuesday and we’ve prepared for the game on Thursday and it was a sharp session this morning too so I’m pleased with it.”

    He added: “Now, I just can’t wait to get back in to games. We’ve got a big November and December coming up with a lot of games and this is the first of a sequence of about nine games up until the New Year so it’s an exciting period.”

    The Steelmen currently sit tenth, and McGhee explained that this next sequence of matches is important – but there is still a long way to go.

    [pullquote]We’ve got 20 or so games to push ourselves into the top six. We’re introducing young players and they’re getting better all the time and I’m convinced that eventually we’ll get consistent results.[/pullquote]

    He said: “We’ve got 20 or so games to push ourselves into the top six. We’re introducing young players and they’re getting better all the time and I’m convinced that eventually we’ll get consistent results.

    “We’ve got to hope that tomorrow we can find the sort of form we’ve shown in our other games against a Partick Thistle team who are a good team and I think that not only are they playing in a way that makes it difficult for people but they’re also physically strong.”

    He added: “We have a plan ourselves and if we execute it as well as we’re capable of, then I think we can take all three points.”

  • Archive

    Partick Thistle: A closer look

    The Steelmen host Partick Thistle tomorrow afternoon as Premiership football returns, with both sides on the hunt for to get back to winning ways.

    A 2-0 loss away to Dundee two weeks ago currently leaves Motherwell tenth in the table – a point behind Partick in eighth.

    And as the Fir Parkers sit two points off the top six and Thistle just one, tomorrow’s clash has added importance for both sides.

    This is the second meeting between the two clubs this season, following a 1-1 draw at Firhill in September.

    A header from Scott McDonald secured a late point after Chris Erskine gave his side the lead on an eventful afternoon in Glasgow marred slightly by an incorrect offside decision for the ‘Well.

    This fixture has proven to be a tough task for the away sides, with Motherwell winning just once at Firhill since 1997 and Thistle failing to record a win at Fir Park since 1996.

    But history goes out of the window in football, and this fixture will be as hard to predict as any other this season.

    ‘Well boss Mark McGhee knows that his side has a tough task on their hands, with Thistle stringing together some strong results in recent weeks.

    The manager said: “Partick Thistle – of the four recent matches we’ve played including Dundee, Inverness, Ross County and Partick Thistle – I looked ahead at those first three and I thought we could win them, when in fact we’ve just won one of them.

    “Looking at Partick Thistle as the fourth team in our recent run, I’d say they are the strongest in the sequence.”

    [pullquote]It’s going to be a really difficult game, they’re playing a different system, they’re a big team, they’re a strong team, they’re well organised, they’re playing with confidence.[/pullquote]

    He added: “It’s going to be a really difficult game, they’re playing a different system, they’re a big team, they’re a strong team, they’re well organised, they’re playing with confidence so it’s going to be a really difficult game.

    “We’ve got nine games between now and the end of December so we’ve now got a programme where it will be game after game after game so we need to be prepared for that.”

    When asked about team news, the manager confirmed Carl McHugh’s return to training after a long lay-off due to concussion.

    He said: “Everybody’s fit and Carl McHugh is back this week, he’s started his recovery properly, he’s feeling good and he’s smiling and we look forward to having him back in the new year.”

    Tomorrow’s visitors on the other hand, will be more or less at full strength, with keeper Ryan Scully the main loss, as the young Scot is still out after suffering a shoulder injury.

     

    After bagging the equaliser at Firhill and being denied a clear goal in the same match back in September, Scott McDonald is the one to watch tomorrow afternoon.

    The Aussie striker will have added hunger to get among the goals after he had another incorrectly ruled out against Dundee last week.

    And ahead of the match, the forward admitted that the club are well prepared for the clash, but admits it will be a tough match.

    McDonald said: “Partick Thistle now have changed the way they’ve been playing, to a success. They sort of played a 4-4-1-1 before and now they’re playing a 3-5-2 and they’ve had excellent results.

    “To be fair I think they’ve played well all the way through this season up until the point where late in games, from their perspective, they’ve conceded late and silly goals that have cost them some points.”

    He added: “We’re fully aware of what their strengths are and what we’re up against at the weekend and we’re going to have to battle against that and try and get back to winning ways.”

    [pullquote]We’re fully aware of what their strengths are and what we’re up against at the weekend and we’re going to have to battle against that and try and get back to winning ways.[/pullquote]

    Returning to Fir Park this weekend will boost the sides confidence, after a thrilling 4-1 victory over Ross County last time out in Lanark.

    McDonald said: “Obviously we had a great result at home last time round and we’ll be looking to try and pick up on that and try to get the last result of our system.

    “We’ve been up and down for quite some time but I think everyone has in this league at the moment.”

    He added: “I think it’s been quite strange and the manager has touched on it in previous in terms of it’s been very stop-start with the way the games have come and gone this year there’s been no real sort of pattern.”

     

    The Jags currently occupy eighth spot in the Ladbrokes Premiership and are merely a point ahead of the Steelmen in tenth.

    And despite Partick’s unfortunate recent history at Fir Park, manager Alan Archibald will be hopeful and confident in equal measure as his side arrive in Lanarkshire in the midst of a good run of form.

    The Firhill boss has been in charge of Partick Thistle since 2013, when the Glaswegian club were in the Championship. But after overseeing their return to the top-flight, the Scotsman has kept Thistle there ever since.

    As a player, Archibald made over 350 appearances for the club, in a career spanning 17 years and just two clubs.

    A legend among the supporters, the manager will be hopeful to return his side to winning ways after they fell narrowly to Aberdeen two weeks ago with a 2-1 loss at Firhill. Prior to that though, the Glaswegian side strung together two crucial victories to drag them up the table after a slow start this term.

    The Jags finished 9th last season and will be keen to improve on that finish this time around.

    The last time the ‘Well faced Alan Archibald’s side they couldn’t be separated as a late Scott McDonald header secured a point for Mark McGhee’s men but should have sealed all three.

    Motherwell fans will be hopeful of a similar result the last time the two sides met at Fir Park though, where a brace from Louis Moult and a Marvin Johnson strike secured a 3-1 victory.

    With a threatening, creative attack, Partick will be a tough test for the Steelmen tomorrow though.

    A busy summer window for Thistle has seen the additions of the likes of Ziggy Gordon, Danny Devine and Adam Barton.

    But it’s the signing of Chris Erskine from Dundee United that is perhaps the most exciting for Jags fans, with the midfielder already among the goals this season with three goals and two assists in ten appearances. The 29-year-old Scotsman was signed on a free from the Championship side and is one of the main attacking threats for tomorrow’s visitors.

    Last seasons top-scorer Kris Doolan has two goals and one assist to his name so far and Alan Archibald will be hopeful he can improve on his tally of 14 last term. It may be a sign of things to come for the forward considering his recent return – having gone the first nine games without a goal to his name, he now has two goals in his last three matches.

    That has mirrored his side’s upturn in fortunes too, with the Jags picking up six points in their last three matches and now sit just one point off the top six.

    But tomorrow afternoon, the Jags will be hungry to get back to winning ways after suffering a 2-1 loss at home to Aberdeen.

    And the Northern visitors put an end to Thistle’s four-match unbeaten run in the process after Partick wasted good first-half chances through Ade Azeez and Daniel Devine.

    They were made to pay for those misses when Anthony O’Connor drove Aberdeen into the lead after Adam Rooney touched on Andrew Considine’s header to give the Dons the lead.

    Adam Barton headed Partick level, but Jayden Stockley restored the Dons’ lead with an excellent lob over goalkeeper Thorsten Stuckmann.

    After the match Alan Archibald said: “Obviously I’m disappointed with the result but I thought out performance was good in patches. I thought we created the better chances in the first half.

    “We went for it, we wanted to have a go, we didn’t want to go in a whimper. I thought we did that but it just didn’t fall for us in the right place.”

     

  • Archive

    Partick Thistle: Last time out

    Despite being far from their best, Motherwell showed great character to earn a point when they faced Partick earlier this season.

    And it might have been all three but for a incorrect offside call by assistant Alan Mulvanny, who wrongly chalked off a Scott McDonald header, and a couple of good late saves from Ryan Scully.

    In the end, it was another McDonald header that rescued a point after Chris Erskine had given the hosts a first-half lead.

    During an uneventful opening ten minutes, it was the home side who had the first opportunity, winning a corner after seven minutes, but Erskine over-hit his cross and it swung out for a goal-kick.

    After 25 minutes, Azeez broke through for Thistle but his cross had nothing on it and flew straight into the grateful arms of Craig Samson.

    Ryan Bowman had a chance to open his goal-scoring account in Claret and Amber. With a ball over the top, the Englishman tried to lift the ball over Scully from a tight angle inside the box, but his attempt with the inside of his right boot was stopped by the Thistle keeper.

    With ten minutes remaining in the half, the Fir Parkers fell behind after Chris Erskine was afforded a one-on-one opportunity with Samson, slotting it low beyond the keeper with his left foot.

    Six minutes into the second half and the hosts should have doubled their lead.

    Erskine and Azeez surged forward on the break, and in a two-on-two situation, Erskine played a neat ball into his team-mate who dragged his shot wide of Samson’s right post.

    That let-off looked to kick McGhee’s side into gear, with some neat play from Motherwell immediately following Thistle’s chance. Some good passing and movement settled the game down and in the 55th minute, Scott McDonald went close to equalising; the Aussie turned neatly inside the box but sent his strike narrowly over the bar.

    Thistle created a good opportunity on the hour mark but Azeez failed to convert again. The striker was threaded through down the left side of the Motherwell box, but his low effort flashed wide of the opposite post and Motherwell remained just the one goal behind.

    After 65 minutes, Motherwell had the ball in the back of the net, only to be wrongly chalked off by the linesman’s flag.

    McDonald headed in from close range after Bowman headed a free kick back across the face of goal, but a poor decision from the official denied the Steelmen, despite McDonald being comfortably onside.

    With just over 20 minutes to go, McGhee made his first change of the afternoon, bringing on James McFadden for Louis Moult.

    Thistle went extremely close to taking a two goal lead, when Edwards fired a spectacular effort on goal from 25 yards, clipping the post and going behind for a goal kick.

    Immediately up the other end, Motherwell had a great chance to equalise after Thistle failed to clear a corner. Clay teed up Bowman but the striker scuffed his shot and it was dealt with comfortably.

    And with just over ten minutes left and his side on the ascendency, McGhee brought off Lasley in the hunt for a goal, replacing the skipper with Lionel Ainsworth.

    And he was rewarded with just seven minutes of the 90 remaining as the Steelmen drew level – and it was a superb goal.

    An inch perfect cross from Tait on his unfamiliar left foot was right on the head of McDonald who anticipated the cross and nodded it beyond Scully into the top corner.

    There was more action to come too, and in the dying minutes ‘Well so nearly took the lead. Ryan Bowman rose highest at the back post to get on the end of a deep cross, but his low header was well saved by Scully who got down quickly to palm it away.

    Motherwell kept getting closer and closer to a winner in stoppage time. Chris Cadden brought the ball down on his chest and played a neat one-two with McDonald, storming towards the Partick box and firing a low shot towards goal from the edge of the area. The deflected shot was met by a solid hand from Scully to keep his side level.

    It was the final bit of action, with Motherwell coming away with a hard-fought point at Firhill despite not hitting top form.

  • Archive

    Survey: My Club, My views

    Motherwell Football Club are asking supporters for their feedback on the supporter experience in a bid to continue to drive further positive change at Fir Park.

    A short but detailed survey will provide all parties with key information to help identify touch points on what improvements the club need to make to improve the matchday and overall supporter experience.

    Marketing and Fan Engagement Manager Ryan Murrant said; “This is part of one of the first projects that I have worked on since I joined a few weeks ago.

    [pullquote]We want our fans to let us know what they think about the club off the park, the supporter experience and how we can help shape matchdays and the club moving forwards.”[/pullquote]

    “In order for us to improve things we need subjective data, so we want our fans to let us know what they think about the club off the park, the supporter experience and how we can help shape matchdays and the club moving forwards.”

    “We need to know where we need to improve and then we will be transparent in how we intend to implement the changes required. We hope to hear from as many fans as possible as our drive for betterment continues.”

    To take part in the survey head to mymfc.co.uk

  • Archive

    McDonald: We’re well prepared

    Motherwell striker Scott McDonald revealed the club have had a good week of preparation ahead of the league clash with Partick on Saturday.

    And the Aussie striker admitted that Saturday’s opponents have been playing well this season, even if some results haven’t gone their way.

    Speaking to the press this morning, McDonald said: “The manager was away but it’s still been a good week. James McFadden has taken his role on as assistant manager and he’s getting better week-in, week-out and everyone had a great week last week under him.”

    [pullquote]Thistle now have changed the way they’ve been playing, to a success. They sort of played a 4-4-1-1 before and now they’re playing a 3-5-2 and they’ve had excellent results.[/pullquote]

    The forward touched on the change of fortunes for the Glasgow side after Alan Archibald changed shape.

    McDonald said: “Partick Thistle now have changed the way they’ve been playing, to a success. They sort of played a 4-4-1-1 before and now they’re playing a 3-5-2 and they’ve had excellent results.

    “To be fair I think they’ve played well all the way through this season up until the point where late in games, from their perspective, they’ve conceded late and silly goals that have cost them some points.”

    He added: “We’re fully aware of what their strengths are and what we’re up against at the weekend and we’re going to have to battle against that and try and get back to winning ways.”

    [pullquote]We had a great result at home last time round and we’ll be looking to try and pick up on that and try to get the last result of our system.[/pullquote]

    The Steelmen are back at Fir Park at the weekend and will be hopeful of bouncing back from the 2-0 loss away to Dundee two weeks ago.

    McDonald said: “Obviously we had a great result at home last time round and we’ll be looking to try and pick up on that and try to get the last result of our system.

    “We’ve been up and down for quite some time but I think everyone has in this league at the moment.”

    He added: “I think it’s been quite strange and the manager has touched on it in previous in terms of it’s been very stop-start with the way the games have come and gone this year there’s been no real sort of pattern.”

  • Archive

    McGhee: Focussed on Partick clash

    ‘Well boss Mark McGhee isn’t concerned about the league table at this stage of the season as he focuses on the challenge of Partick Thistle on Saturday.

    Speaking to the press this morning, the manager admitted performance is the most important thing as his side push to bounce back from the 2-0 loss to Dundee two weeks ago.

    McGhee said: “Table and results aren’t at the top of my priority list at this stage – we want to win games, of course we do.

    “I have a brief here to stay in the division and bring on young players and that’s what we’re doing. Sometimes we have great performances and great results and then we can have poor performances and poor results, that’s the nature of young players.”

    [pullquote]Performance is everything for me – I want our young players to improve and get better where we get to a point where we are winning every week.[/pullquote]

    He added: “Performance is everything for me – I want our young players to improve and get better where we get to a point where we are winning every week and we will get to that if we stick with the young players and improve them.”

    Partick will not be an easy challenge for the Steelmen, as they have kicked in to form in recent weeks, and the Fir Park boss knows it will be a big test.

    He said: “Partick Thistle – of the four recent matches we’ve played including Dundee, Inverness, Ross County and Partick Thistle – I looked ahead at those first three and I thought we could win them, when in fact we’ve just won one of them.

    “Looking at Partick Thistle as the fourth team in our recent run, I’d say they are the strongest in the sequence.”

    [pullquote]It’s going to be a really difficult game, they’re playing a different system, they’re a big team, they’re a strong team, they’re well organised, they’re playing with confidence.[/pullquote]

    He added: “It’s going to be a really difficult game, they’re playing a different system, they’re a big team, they’re a strong team, they’re well organised, they’re playing with confidence so it’s going to be a really difficult game.

    “We’ve got nine games between now and the end of December so we’ve now got a programme where it will be game after game after game so we need to be prepared for that.”

    When asked about team news, the manager confirmed Carl McHugh’s return to training after a long lay-off due to concussion.

    He said: “Everybody’s fit and Carl McHugh is back this week, he’s started his recovery properly, he’s feeling good and he’s smiling and we look forward to having him back in the new year.”

  • Archive

    Dallas in charge of Partick clash

    Referee for this Saturday’s Ladbrokes Premiership clash with Partick Thistle is Andrew Dallas.

    It will be Andrew’s second Motherwell game of the new season, after he officiated the goalless draw with Dundee at Fir Park back in August.

    But the referee took charge on two occasions last term including a disappointing loss against Kilmarnock when the ‘Well slumped to a 2-0 loss back in February.

    He also oversaw a huge 1-0 victory for Mark McGhee’s side against Hearts at Tynecastle.

    With Hearts just one spot above the ‘Well, it was a massive win in solidifying fifth spot as the season was coming to a close.

    Son of famous referee Hugh Dallas, Andrew takes charge of his fourth Motherwell game today.

    So far he has dished out twelve yellow cards, no reds and in total has booked six Motherwell players.

    He will be assisted by Alastair Mather and Gary Hilland, with Bobby Madden on Fourth Official duties.