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    Ross MacLean signs extension

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    TV: Highlights from Falkirk Stadium

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    Craigan: No excuses

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    Falkirk U20s 3 – 1 Motherwell U20s

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    Falkirk up next for ‘Well U20s

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    Rangers clash live on TV

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    Motorpoint Player of the Month: November

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    TV: Highlights from Excelsior Stadium

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    Craigan: We worked hard

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    Motherwell U20s 3 – 1 Morton U20s

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    Ross MacLean signs extension

    Rising star Ross MacLean is the latest talented youngster to commit his future to ‘Well, signing a new two-and-a-half-year deal. 

    The 19-year old midfielder has impressed since making his first-team debut, with yet another stellar showing from left midfield against Celtic at the weekend.

    MacLean has quickly followed in the footsteps of fellow youngsters Jack McMillan, Chris Cadden and Allan Campbell in committing his future to the Fir Parkers until the summer of 2019.

    Speaking to motherwellfc.co.uk, he said: “It’s great to know that my future at the club is secure for the next couple of years and now I can focus on giving myself targets like getting more games under my belt and cementing a regular place.”

    Stepping up to the first team, Ross revealed that he looks up to the progression of star midfielder Chris Cadden, who was in a similar position to teenager MacLean last year.

    Ross said: “The Celtic game gave me a bit more confidence so hopefully I can learn from the experience on Saturday and move on from there.

    [pullquote]It’s great to know that my future at the club is secure for the next couple of years and now I can focus on giving myself targets like getting more games under my belt and cementing a regular place.[/pullquote]

    “I look up to Cadds because in a sense I’m in a similar position to what he was in last year so hopefully I can follow in his footsteps and break in to the first team and start every week.

    The hot prospect also admitted that assistant manager James McFadden has been hugely influential in his progression. He said: “Faddy helps me a lot because he’s still playing and he plays in a similar position to me. He’s helped me through things and given me a bit more experience when I need it.”

    ‘Well boss Mark McGhee added: “Chucky has come in to the first team and his performances have been more than impressive. I’m delighted that he has signed a new contract with us – it is well deserved too.

    “We’ve worked to secure yet another one of our young, promising stars, it is a major part of the working model here at Motherwell.

    “For Ross, it is now up to him to firmly break in and cement his place in the starting eleven over the weeks and months ahead – and further beyond too.”

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    TV: Highlights from Falkirk Stadium

    Highlights from Falkirk Stadium where the Under 20s lost 3-1 to Falkirk in the Development League.

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    Craigan: No excuses

    U20s boss Stephen Craigan insisted that his side’s loss against Falkirk tonight was not a result of their hard work during Sunday’s Youth Cup win.

    The youngsters were reduced to ten men early on against Morton on Sunday and fought hard to progress, but during the 3-1 loss at the Falkirk Stadium this evening the team looked a bit sluggish.

    While Craigan didn’t allow any excuses, he also felt there wasn’t a lot serparating the two sides.

    Speaking to MFC TV after the match, the manager said: “I think mentioning that fact that the boys played on Sunday is a bit of an excuse for them tonight. Falkirk played on Sunday as well and I think they made five changes while we made four.

    “I think sometimes what you can learn from situations like this is about players resolve and what they’ve got in their locker and if they’ve got that wee bit of determination to push on through when the going gets tough.”

    [pullquote]Sometimes what you can learn from situations like this is about players resolve and what they’ve got in their locker and if they’ve got that wee bit of determination to push on through when the going gets tough.[/pullquote]

    He added: “To be honest I don’t think there was an awful lot in the game. We didn’t defend set plays or simple balls in to the box – we couldn’t physically cope.

    “I just said to the boys in the dressing room if there’s parts of your game that you think you need to work on you’ve got to go and do it. The technical side we can work on, but some times a wee bit of application and a wee bit of desire, perhaps even a wee bit of personal appreciation of where you are in your game.”

    Despite tonights loss, it has been an encouraging season so far for the young Steelmen and Craigan admitted he hasn’t had to raise his voice too often with his team.

    He said: “I haven’t had to have a go at them too often this season but sometimes they just need a little reminder to not let games pass you by. Football is a short career and some of the boys don’t have long left on their contracts, and even for the ones that do, still don’t let games pass you by.

    [pullquote]When you lose a game you get a bit emotional and you start to look at specific parts of the game. I just felt our passing was off early on, our touch wasn’t right.[/pullquote]

    “You’ve got to go and commit in games and compete in games and show what you’re all about and certainly don’t look for excuses.

    “Learning to live right, eat right and sleep right is part of being a footballer – it’s not all about learning how to pass the ball and control the ball – there’s stuff off the pitch you have to learn to do too.”

    He added: “When you lose a game you get a bit emotional and you start to look at specific parts of the game. I just felt our passing was off early on, our touch wasn’t right.

    “Whether we win the Development League or not isn’t going to affect the way our club is run – our aim is to get as many young players in to the first team as we possibly can.

    “Whenever we have off nights like tonight you just have to remind them to have a reality check, see where we’re at and let’s go again.”

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    Falkirk U20s 3 – 1 Motherwell U20s

    Motherwell U20s returned to Development League action with a 3-1 loss away to Falkirk tonight after progressing in the Youth Cup at the weekend.

    In the opening 15 minutes it was clear to see the youngsters had been playing little over 48 hours before tonight’s match with a tired looking ‘Well side struggling to settle the game down.

    They weathered the storm though with the only real chances for the hosts squandered by winger Langton, who failed to test Morrison with one effort and scuffed his other straight at the stopper.

    But Craigan’s side grew into the match and strung together some neat build-up play but failed to properly test Mehmet.

    James McFadden, stepping in to the starting eleven, dazzled at points in the opening 45, with his touch and vision proving too much for the Bairn defence to handle at points.

    Shortly after the 20th minute the ex-Everton man slipped Fry in down the right for the young midfielder to cut back to Turnbull on the edge of the area, but his shot was blocked by the first man.

    Two minutes later Falkirk were forced to make a change after Nathan Austin picked up a knock, he was replaced by Reis Peggie.

    From then on it was mostly all Motherwell but there were very few chances.

    McFadden was central to most of it with a couple of dangerous crosses causing Falkirk problems.

    But it was in the 40th minute when he danced his way through the middle of the park, cutting on to his left and unleashing a strike on goal that it seemed the ‘Well would break the deadlock, but Eadie did brilliantly to lunge in and block it from travelling towards goal.

    The score remained goalless going in to the break as neither keeper came under much threat.

    The second half got off to a quicker start but unfortunately it was the hosts who looked the sharper and then took the lead in the 55th minute.

    Scott Shepherd managed to knock the ball down from a corner and it fell for Cameron Eadie who managed to react quickly and prod beyond Morrison.

    Craigan made a couple of changes not long after the opening goal. First he brought on Scott for Mackin then Hastie for McFadden.

    The Bairns doubled their advantage ten minutes after taking the lead and it was an instinctive reaction finish from substitute Peggie who caught it sweetly on the bounce from the edge of the box to fire it low past Morrison.

    Much like the first team on Saturday, the youngsters hit back instantly, with substitute Jake Hastie turning Allan Campbell’s cross beyond Mehmet.

    Falkirk had a great chance to grab their third when Morrison was deemed to have picked up a pass back resulting in an indirect free-kick for the hosts. Peter Grant curled the tee-up beyond Morrison but off the post but the keeper then managed to clear it.

    Craigan made his final substitute in the 75th minute, replacing Fry with young attacker Dylan Falconer.

    Under ten minutes later and with ten minutes left, Falkirk put the game out of reach when they bagged their third. Shepherd charged towards a loose ball, getting his toe to it before Morrison could collect to prod it beyond the stopper.

    With five minutes remaining, young full back Jack McMillan curled a phenomenal strike on goal that crashed off the crossbar.

    But the youngsters couldn’t find a way back in to the match and it finished 3-1.

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    Falkirk up next for ‘Well U20s

    Motherwell U20s are in league action tomorrow night as they take on Falkirk U20s at the Falkirk Stadium.

    Following last weeks 1-1 draw away to St Mirren U20s and yesterday’s 3-1 Youth Cup victory over Greenock Morton U20s, Craigan’s side will be keen to carry on their run of form and return to winning ways in the Development League.

    A goal in the opening minute from Dylan Mackin looked likely to set the youngsters on their way to victory over the Saints last Wednesday, but experienced defender Andy Webster cancelled it out after half an hour.

    Tomorrow’s opponents Falkirk currently sit sixth in the table, just two spots below the young Steelmen in fourth, making for an interesting encounter between the two sides.

    There is a mere point separating the teams too, with Falkirk coming in to the match on the back of a goalless draw with Dundee.

    That result extended the Bairns run without a win to three matches, a run matched by the Fir Parkers following two draws and a loss.

    For all the action, follow @MotherwellFC on Twitter for live updates and to catch the highlights, subscribe to the official MFC TV YouTube channel.

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    Rangers clash live on TV

    The Scottish Cup Fourth Round clash with Rangers at Ibrox is due to be shown live on Sky Sports.

    Following the draw last week, the mouthwatering clash has been picked up by the broadcaster as the Steelmen hope to progress to the fifth round.

    And it is the first time that the Lanarkshire club and the Glaswegians have been pitted against each other in the competition since 2003.

    On that day, Rangers won in dramatic fashion at Hampden, beating the Steelmen 4-3 in the semi-final before going on to win the tournament against Dundee.

    The match will be played and shown live on Sky Sports on Saturday 21st January, with kick-off at 12:30pm.

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    Motorpoint Player of the Month: November

    Voting has opened for Motherwell’s Player of the Month for November – sponsored by Motorpoint.

    Every month, ‘Well fans have the opportunity to cast their vote for who they think has put in the best performances, in the games against Dundee, Partick Thistle and Hearts.

    Thanks to club sponsors Motorpoint, the decision is up to the fans, so cast your vote here!

    [poll id=”298″]

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    TV: Highlights from Excelsior Stadium

    Highlights from Excelsior Stadium where David Turnbull’s hat-trick gave ‘Well a 3-1 win over Greenock Morton.

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    Craigan: We worked hard

    U20s boss Stephen Craigan credited his players hard work as they overcame Greenock Morton U20s 3-1 in the Scottish FA Youth Cup this afternoon.

    A feisty encounter left resulted in two penalties for the Steelmen, two red cards and a number of controversial decisions from the referee.

    But in the end, Craigan was happy to see his side secure a place in the quarter-finals.

    Speaking to MFC TV after the match, he said: “We got through, and I said to the players after the game it’s not always going to be about free flowing football and having lots of possession, because there’s an art to defending and seeing games out – it usually includes hard work – so I felt the energy levels in the second half were good and the organisation of the team was good.

    “The players make that work; they have to narrow up, they have track runs, they have to defend one-on-one because there can be long spells without the ball at times, but its all part of their learning curve.”

    [pullquote]It’s not always going to be about free flowing football and having lots of possession, because there’s an art to defending and seeing games out – it usually includes hard work.[/pullquote]

    He added: “Barry got sent off before the tenth minute so it was a long, long time – considering the referee played 54 minutes in the second half – to defend with ten men.

    “Credit to the players for doing that, they showed the other side of the game which is very pleasing.”

    David Turnbull bagged a hattrick including two strikes from the penalty spot, and his manager was pleased with his all round performance.

    Craigan said: “ I’m really pleased for David. Dylan missed a penalty here against Dunfermline but got the rebound and then missed one against Hearts so David was the next guy up for the penalties and it takes a bit of bravery too once you’ve scored the first one to go up and take the second one.

    “The third goal was sublime – it was a great strike. I wasn’t quite sure the defender covered himself in much glory by ducking but I don’t mind because we get 3-0 up at that stage.”

    [pullquote] David was the next guy up for the penalties and it takes a bit of bravery too once you’ve scored the first one to go up and take the second one. The third goal was sublime – it was a great strike.[/pullquote]

    Morton pulled one back with little over ten minutes to go, and the spirit of the ‘Well youngsters, especially when going down to nine men after Fry was shown a second yellow for time wasting, was something that pleased Craigan.

    He said: “When it goes 3-1 you get wary, you think will they crack? Will they crumble? Do gaps appear? That’s when you need David Turnbull to get on the ball again, take that extra touch and make that extra pass and he did.

    Ultimately, much of the match was overshadowed by controversy after both sides were on the receiving end of debatable decisions – but Craigan doesn’t want to dwell on the referee.

    He said: “It was tough and I don’t want to stand and pan the referee because it’s a very difficulty job, but I just thought he didn’t really have the game under control.

    “He’s a young guy trying to make his way in the game, our young players are trying to make their way in the game and I’m a young coach trying to make my way in the game somewhere along the line.

    “But I know emotions run high, I think he was quite quick with his decisions, with the sending off and the penalties which I haven’t seen back to be fair but I think he was just a bit quick with the decisions in general.”

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    Motherwell U20s 3 – 1 Morton U20s

    Motherwell U20s continued their defence of the Youth Cup with a 3-1 victory over Greenock Morton U20s this afternoon.

    But it was not easy work for the youngsters who converted two penalties but also ended the match at the Excelsior Stadium with nine men.

    Jake Hastie looked lively from the first whistle but squandered two good opportunities early on.

    The young winger did superbly to beat his man down the left flank in the second minute, but when it came to the cross he blazed it wildly over everyone in the box.

    Two minutes later he spun his marker with ease to afford himself a one-on-one opportunity with Morton stopper Jamie McGowan, but again the youngster went for power and his shot was well off target, when in truth it should have been 1-0 to the Steelmen.

    Just after the tenth minute, controversy struck as Craigan’s side were reduced to ten men. Barry Maguire was forced to make a lunging challenge to intercept Morton’s Ben Armour from having a one-on-one chance, but despite winning the ball, the centre-back was given his marching orders for denying a goal-scoring opportunity.

    From the following free-kick, Scott Tiffoney crashed a terrific effort off the bar and immediately after, Craigan made a change, replacing James Scott with Adam Livingstone as the youngsters faced a tricky uphill task.

    Despite being reduced in numbers, the Steelmen went closest to grabbing the lead on 13 minutes, when Dylan Falconer raced past the Morton defence and sent his audacious lob narrowly over the bar.

    Morton winger Tiffoney forced a good save out of PJ Morrison in the 25th minute, the ‘Well stopper doing enough to parry it away from danger.

    However, it was the outnumbered Steelmen who took the lead after Hastie was hauled to the deck by Darren Hynes. Looked soft, but Davie Turnbull made no mistake from the spot, slotting it low past McGowan in to the bottom left corner. Hynes was booked for the foul.

    Alex McWaters went close for the visitors just a few minutes after the goal, but his strike was too high and flew over the bar.

    The winger was involved again in the 37th minute when Tom Fry pulled him down as he was bursting forward. The ‘Well midfielder went in to the book.

    Three minutes before the break, Motherwell were awarded another penalty and this time it was a silly foul and a more clear cut decision than the first.

    Morton defender Ruaridh Langan pulled Hastie to ground when the ‘Well midfielder looked to be running the ball out of play, but it was a definite penalty and Turnbull stepped up to the challenge again, this time slotting the ball low to McGowan’s right to double the advantage. Tiffoney was the third player to pick up a booking in the aftermath of the penalty decision – this time for dissent.

    The second half got off to a slower start, with neither side carving out any major chances.

    Motherwell went closest went Dylan Falconer raced beyond the Morton defence, only to have his run cut short by the linesman flagging for offside.

    On the hour mark, Morton centre-forward Ben Armour should have pulled one back if it wasn’t for a superb save from Morrison, who blocked the initial shot and was alert to clutch the second.

    Three minutes later and Motherwell had three and Turnbull completed his hattrick with a stunning long range strike following a corner. Fry played it short to the midfielder who had time to take a touch and strike it past McGowan from outside the corner of the box.

    Jordon Armstrong made way following the goal as Craigan shuffled his deck – bringing on Alfie Agyeman, shifting Fry to right back and pushing McMillan in one spot to centre-back.

    Morton won a freekick in the 78th minute and made it count. It had an element of luck as it took a slight deflection on its way towards Langan, who was on hand to touch it towards goal and beyond Morrison.

    The Steelmen became slightly pegged back as the game drew towards a close, but some strong defence limited the visitors to strikes from distance, John Tennant fancied his chances from 25 yards but Morrison held it comfortably.

    In the final seconds, Fry was shown his second yellow card after he was deemed to be time wasting and Motherwell had to survive the final few attacks with nine men.