Motherwell travel to face St Johnstone in the Ladbrokes Premiership tomorrow afternoon, with both sides looking to follow up on goalless draws last weekend.
Mark McGhee’s men will be keen to get back to action after Tuesday night’s match against Aberdeen was abandoned due to floodlight failure.
Prior to that, the Steelmen drew 0-0 with Kilmarnock at Fir Park in a match which ‘Well boss McGhee hopes will be the start of an unbeaten run.
He said: “I think that we could’ve won it in both halves so I’m disappointed not to have won.
“It wasn’t a fantastic game, it wasn’t a fantastic performance but we had enough clear cut chances and if you take one of those chances it kind of changes the game, it settles you down, it puts them under a bit of pressure so things usually get better.”
He added: “Not getting the goal can make you nervous that they’ll nick something even if it is against the run of play.
“We kept on to it though – we brought on the two young lads, we still got at them, we got corners, we got set plays, we didn’t make enough of them and when we made the chances we weren’t able to take them.
“The way I see it is staying undefeated against Kilmarnock could spark the start of a run –hopefully now we can go on and stay unbeaten.”
[pullquote]The way I see it is staying undefeated against Kilmarnock could spark the start of a run –hopefully now we can go on and stay unbeaten.[/pullquote]
St Johnstone, undefeated this month, will be keen to narrow the gap with Hearts and keep pace with the top four as they host the Fir Parkers tomorrow.
Tommy Wright’s men secured three points in this reverse fixture back in August in Motherwell’s first home game of the season.
Chris Cadden opened the scoring just after the break, but goals from Danny Swanson and Steven McLean brought the Perth side back from behind to grab all three points.
Tomorrow’s meeting provides the Fir Parkers with the chance to move in to the top half of the table as the Premiership remains extremely tight.
In terms of fitness, Motherwell stars Stevie Hammell, Carl McHugh, Joe Chalmers, Kieran Kennedy and Jacob Blyth will all be out.
‘Well striker Louis Moult insists preparation for tomorrow’s match won’t have been affected by the abandoned match on Tuesday night.
The forward admitted it was frustrating making the trip to Aberdeen to see the game cut short and called off, but he has his attentions firmly on St Johnstone now.
With his current goal-scoring form, the forward is an obvious one-to-watch this weekend.
The 24-year-old said: “Obviously travelling all the way up there, sitting on the bus for three hours and then getting six minutes in to the game before it’s called off is frustrating but it’s just one of those things, we’ve got to get on with it now and look forward to Saturday’s game.
“We’ve still got two days to prepare for Saturday so there’s not much difference I think we can work hard today and think a little bit more about preparing for the game tomorrow.”
He added: “I know that a few of the lads were feeling the effects of two games in a week so I think a few of them were pleased the game was called off to be honest.”
[pullquote]On a personal note I’m doing ok, I managed to get two goals against Celtic and it’s always nice to score goals but as a team we were disappointed in the manner of the way we lost.[/pullquote]
When asked about his form so far this season, the Steelmen’s top scorer, and the third top scorer in the Premiership, would rather see his team pick up points.
He said: “On a personal note I’m doing ok, I managed to get two goals against Celtic and it’s always nice to score goals but as a team we were disappointed in the manner of the way we lost.
“Then we drew 0-0 at home against Kilmarnock and you always want to score goals at home. The positive is obviously that we kept a clean sheet but we had to put the chances away and we didn’t do that.”
He added: “I’ve been pleased with my goals to game ratio so far this season because I think I have 10 goals in 12 games now so it’s not a bad ratio.
“In terms of targets for this season though I just aim to score every time that I get the opportunity.”
Moult’s stunning finish against Celtic has received a lot of attention and the forward himself admitted that his phone was “red hot” for up to two days after the match.
On the goal itself though he said: “I think it was actually my first touch in the game and it’s gone in, it’s one of those things, and I was delighted with the two goals but on the whole I was disappointed with the result.”
After a solid 2015/16 season, St Johnstone have enjoyed a similar campaign so far this term and will be full of confidence ahead of tomorrow’s clash.
For manager Tommy Wright, it was going to be a busy summer to follow up on last season’s successes, but so far, as he looked to retain his stars and build on an already strong squad.
With minimal departures from McDiarmid Park and the arrival of midfielder Paul Paton, the Saints kept the core of their squad in the summer transfer window.
29-year-old Paul Paton has brought stability to the middle of the Saints midfield but it is likely he will miss the arrival of the Steelmen tomorrow.
Away from the treatment table though, Paton has proven to be a valuable addition to the squad, making 16 appearances in all competitions this season.
Another player who may miss the weekend’s fixture is top scorer Danny Swanson, who has 12 goals to his name in 20 appearances so far.
With his injury in recent weeks, the Saints star faces a late fitness test and will be a significant boost for the home side if he manages to feature tomorrow afternoon.
The blow came for St Johnstone just before the Aberdeen match as it emerged Swanson would miss out after picking up a hip injury just two days before.
It was initially reported that the winger could be out for up to 10 days, however he may be fit for tomorrow.
The Aberdeen match could have done with his personality and invention in the final third too, as Saints’ best chance in the first-half came when Steven MacLean’s cross was flicked on by Chris Kane to Davidson, who fired wide when he probably should have done better.
After the break, MacLean tried his luck with a shot from 30-yards that Lewis tipped over the bar and Blair Alston almost nicked in on a poor Graeme Shinnie back-pass, but poked the ball wide as St Johnstone finished strongly.
The best chance of the game came from Wotherspoon. His free-kick from 25 yards was curling viciously towards goal, but Lewis produced a great save.
After the match, manager Tommy Wright said: “I thought over the piece we probably could have edged it, but we’re happy with a point.
“We’re slightly disappointed it wasn’t all three points because in the first half we had the better chances, and in the second half we had the better chances too.”
He added: “It was another good away performance though. We’ve been to Ibrox now and probably should have won, been to Hearts and should have won, and been up here and should have won.”