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    Cooper Bar important information

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    McLean in the middle for Killie

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    Clay: I want to add goals

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    McFadden: We must limit mistakes

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    McGhee banned / Maguire rescinded

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    Motorpoint Player of the Month: November

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    Youth Cup quarter final draw

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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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    Cooper Bar important information

    Our brilliant Motherwell Football Club Community Trust are hosting a Christmas party to over 70 children on Saturday morning. 

    To allow the children to maximise their morning of fun, games and much more the Cooper Bar will be open by 12:30, a little later than usual.

    As the drive to improve fan experiences at Fir Park continues, Motherwell FC can confirm the reopening of the bottle bar in the Davie Cooper suite.

    The move is in response to fan requests submitted directly and through the recent engagement survey, which is still open and can be found here.

    The bar will be open on Saturday ahead of the Kilmarnock league match, serving lager from £3 and cider from £3.20.

    We are offering designated drivers free draught juice and cans will be available from 70p.

    We look forward to seeing you there.

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    McLean in the middle for Killie

    The referee for tomorrow’s Ladbrokes Premiership clash with Kilmarnock at Fir Park is Steven McLean.

    It will be McLean’s third match in charge this season, after the 1-3 home loss to Hearts and the Rangers League Cup group match in July, when the ‘Well lost 2-0.

    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 the Steelmen took on today’s opponents Kilmarnock. On that day a first half penalty from Louis Moult sealed a narrow 1-0 victory.

    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 in the 2015/16 season 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.

    Now one of Scotland’s most recognisable whistlers, ‘Well fans will be familiar with the 35-year old.

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

    In those games, ‘Well have scored 51 and conceded 46. 77 cautions have been dished out, 44 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 Dougie Potter and Ivan Stankovic; with Alan Newlands on fourth official duties.

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    Clay: I want to add goals

    Midfield star Craig Clay admits that he wants to add goals to his game ahead of Saturday’s important game against Kilmarnock at Fir Park.

    The Englishman may not have found the back of the net in claret and amber yet, but he is making sure to put the hours in to improve his finishing.

    Speaking to the press this morning, Craig also revealed that he has settled in extremely well in Lanarkshire since making the switch in summer.

    He said: “I know myself that I’m always going to come and put 110% in to what I do. It’s always hard to go to a new team, especially so far away from home, and try and settle straight away.

    [pullquote]I know myself that I’m always going to come and put 110% in to what I do. It’s always hard to go to a new team, especially so far away from home, and try and settle straight away.[/pullquote]

    “The lads have really helped me, everyone has been really accommodating, the staff as well, the gaffer and Faddy, so yes I think it’s gone really well and I’m loving every minute.”

    He added: “I do want to add goals to my game as a midfielder, I always say that six or seven is a good return and hopefully the penny will drop for me soon.

    “But I can look at Fadds in training and see him put them bottom corner, top corner and it’s true, I don’t need to look too far for tips about shooting.

    “The manager gives me tips about my body position and stuff and I have to take that advice on the chin and try and put it in to my game.”

    Like assistant manager James McFadden, Craig believes that there are lots of positives to take from the loss against Celtic into this weekend’s league clash.

    [pullquote]The way we performed last week, especially the first half, I like to think will make a lot of teams stand up and take note of our pressing and how good we played, and we know we’ve got that in our team and I’ve been saying that since day one.[/pullquote]

    He said: “The way we performed last week, especially the first half, I like to think will make a lot of teams stand up and take note of our pressing and how good we played and we know we’ve got that in our team and I’ve been saying that since day one.

    “It’s disappointing to score three goals against the best team in Scotland and not even get a point out of that game.”

    He added: “First half we were unbelievable and then in the second half they upped their game and I guess there were a few mistakes from us too.

    “We’ve had chats in the dressing room about finding what system suits us best and on Saturday I think we found it. We can press in people’s faces and play high in tempo and basically if we played like that against any other team I think we’d take all three points.”

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    McFadden: We must limit mistakes

    ‘Well assistant manager James McFadden believes there are lots of positives from last weekend’s loss to take in to Saturday’s clash with Kilmarnock.

    After conceding a last minute goal to lose 3-4 at Fir Park against Celtic, McFadden admitted the performance was encouraging.

    Speaking to the press this morning, he said: “We can take loads of positives from the game – the first half performance especially where we played well and deservedly took the two-goal lead.

    “It was great for the younger players especially, to show that we can compete on our day against anybody.”

    He added: “We have made mistakes which cost us goals, it’s nothing to do with our style of play, we’ve been playing well but ultimately we’ve been making mistakes which have cost us, so we need to cut them out.

    “Even the games we’ve lost and lost comfortably in terms of the scoreline, we’ve ben playing well, so if we keep playing the way we have been with the intensity and the quality of our passing then we’ll be fine, we just need to get the consistency of cutting the mistakes out.”

    [pullquote]We have made mistakes which cost us goals, it’s nothing to do with our style of play, we’ve been playing well but ultimately we’ve been making mistakes which have cost us, so we need to cut them out.[/pullquote]

    Kilmarnock come in to the match on the back of a 5-1 loss away to Aberdeen on Tuesday night, but McFadden knows the Steelmen have to be well prepared on Saturday.

    He said: “By all accounts Kilmarnock started the game well the other night and the scoreline probably flattered Aberdeen a bit so we need to be ready for the best Kilmarnock turning up and we’ll make sure we’re at our best too.

    “We don’t make mistakes every week but generally when we concede a goal it’s down to mistakes or things that we could’ve done better rather than good play against us.

    “The team will be set up the same way, the instructions will be the same and it will just be a continuation of what’s been happening anyway.”

    On the back of a much-discussed match against Celtic, the assistant boss clarified the talking points between the coaching staff of both clubs.

    He said: “Celtic were warming up in the wrong area, there’s a portable goal provided which by the rules they have to use – we use them at every stadium we go to and every team that comes here uses it, and Celtic refused to use it.

    [pullquote]Our pitch is one of the best in Scotland at the moment and there’s a reason for that and we want to keep it that way. We spend a lot of money and time on that pitch.[/pullquote]

    “They didn’t listen to our groundsmen so the manager went up and told them they had to move and they weren’t happy.”

    He added: “There was no animosity during the game at all and then at the final whistle Chris Davies comes up and doesn’t shake hands after the game which for me is a lack of respect.”

    The ex-Everton star continued: “A lot has been said about how the manager reacted but we’ve been to Parkhead, lost 5-0 and took it on the chin, we’ve went up we’ve shook hands and we’ve said well done you were the better team.

    “Chris Davies decides not to shake hands, to put his face in other people’s faces, which is a lack of respect regardless of whether you’re the assistant manager of Celtic or anybody else.

    “Our pitch is one of the best in Scotland at the moment and there’s a reason for that and we want to keep it that way. We spend a lot of money and time on that pitch.”

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    McGhee banned / Maguire rescinded

    ‘Well boss Mark McGhee has been handed an immediate two-match ban following a disciplinary hearing at Hampden this morning.

    The Motherwell boss was accused of adopting aggressive behaviour towards a match official and a steward. In addition, the manager was accused of using offensive, abusing and/or insulting language towards a steward and match official during the Steelmen’s 2-0 loss away to Dundee on November 5.

    During the hearing, the alleged breach was amended to remove the charge of adopting an aggressive behaviour to both the match official and steward, whilst the breach of addition using offensive, abusing, and/or insulting language was admitted.

    McGhee will not be in the dugout for the league matches against Kilmarnock and Aberdeen, but will be back on the bench for the St Johnstone fixture next Saturday.

    The panel sanctioned the Motherwell boss with an immediate two-match suspension (two matches to be served immediately; one match to take effect in the event of further breach of disciplinary rule 203, suspended until end of season 2016/17).

    On the same day, the club appealed the red card shown to Under 20s defender Barry Maguire, who was sent of in the 10th minute of Sunday’s Youth Cup 4th Round match against Greenock Morton for allegedly denying an obvious goal scoring opportunity.

    After submissions from Stephen Craigan and Barry himself, the panel upheld the appeal and the red card has been rescinded, allowing the player to be selected in the Quarter Final match against Partick Thistle next month.

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    Motorpoint Player of the Month: November

    Louis Moult has won the Motorpoint Player of the Month award for November, decided by you, the fans.

    And now you have the chance to win something yourself – the opportunity to present Louis with his award!

    This Saturday you will get to meet Louis, go on the pitch ahead of kick-off against Kilmarnock and present the striker with his prize in front of the fans.

    You will also be able to bring a friend to Fir Park because you’ll be awarded two complimentary tickets to watch the important league clash.

    Marketing and Fan Engagement manager Ryan Murrant said: “It’s a great chance for the fans to meet Louis, walk out on the turf here at Fir Park and take in the big match.”

    He added: “You’ll be presenting the striker with his great award and we would like to thank our friends at Motorpoint for helping us get our fans more and more involved. It’s something for the lucky winners to look forward to!”

    To enter the competition, click here and follow two simple steps.

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    Youth Cup quarter final draw

    Motherwell U20s have been drawn Partick Thistle U20s away in the Scottish FA Youth Cup quarter final.

    After coming through a tough encounter against Greenock Morton U20s on Sunday, when the youngsters went down to ten men early on, Craigan’s side battled through and progressed with a 3-1 victory at the Excelsior Stadium.

    The draw, made earlier this afternoon, has pitted the two sides up against each other on or before Sunday 22 January 2016 as the youngsters defence of the cup rages on.

    The full draw, made this afternoon by Scottish FA President, Alan McRae is as follows:

    Rangers v Falkirk

    Ayr United v Kilmarnock

    Hibernian v Celtic

    Partick Thistle v Motherwell

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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.”