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    St Johnstone 1-1 Motherwell

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    Midfielder Turnbull extends contract

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    Two fixtures switched

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    St Johnstone: A closer look

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    Collum to officiate Saints clash

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    Players visit Wishaw General

  • Archive

    Moult: Focussed on Saints clash

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    McGhee: We must be better

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    TV: Highlights from Excelsior Stadium

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    Craigan: Glad with win

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    St Johnstone 1-1 Motherwell

    [tab:Match report]

    Motherwell extended their unbeaten run to two matches after drawing 1-1 with St Johnstone this afternoon in the Ladbrokes Premiership.

    An early own-goal from Saints keeper Zander Clark was cancelled out by an equally fortunate goal from forward Chris Kane as the two sides played out for a point at McDiarmind Park.

    ‘Well boss Mark McGhee named one change to the side which returned early from the trip to Aberdeen midweek, recalling youngster Jack McMillan to the side in place of forward Ryan Bowman.

    Tommy Wright named two changes, with Chris Millar and Tam Scobbie replacing Steven Anderson and Liam Craig.

    A couple of early corners led to a couple of half chances for the hosts, with Murray Davidson heading narrowly over the bar shortly after Brian Easton had a header deflected wide.

    The Fir Parkers grew in to the game and started enjoying spells of possession in the middle of the park – looking to threaten with the pace of Chris Cadden and the overlapping runs of Richard Tait down the right flank.

    Sure enough, in the tenth minute the Steelmen took the lead and it came from a ball in from Tait. In-form Louis Moult fizzed a superb ball out wide to the marauding full-back who took a touch before whipping in a low cross which Zander Clark couldn’t deal with and turned into his own net.

    Craig Clay had a half-chance to open his goal-scoring account in Claret and Amber when the ball dropped for him on the edge of the box, but his effort flew wildly off target in the 20th minute.

    Craig Samson in the Motherwell goal was being well protected by his defence in the opening half hour, with Ben Heneghan in particular throwing his body in front of a number of attempts on goal from the Perth side.

    Keith Lasley picked out forward Scott McDonald in the middle of the park with a neat chipped pass, and some clever work from the Aussie forced the foul and allowed Mark McGhee’s men a good chance from a set piece.

    And McDonald had the ball in the back of the net following the cross, only for the linesman’s flag to cut any form of celebration short.

    Clay seemed to be in the mood for a goal, with the midfielder linking up superbly with Moult and McDonald before trying his luck from 25-yards, but his low effort didn’t trouble Clark who watched on as it went wide.

    A golden opportunity went amiss for the ‘Well when Cadden beat his man and got to the byline, but instead of firing a low cross the youngster lifted his cross and Saints managed to head clear.

    Motherwell were on the up and could have bagged a second and again it was a great chance carved from down the right flank. Moult fed a delightful ball over the top to the advancing Tait, who chopped back on to his left foot to get past his marker and tee up McDonald, but his dummy was read and Joe Shaughnessy managed to clear.

    A phenomenal save from Craig Samson on the stroke of half time ensured the Steelmen went in to the break with their lead intact. The stopper got down well to palm Steven MacLean’s goal bound header around his post.

    The second half got off on a similar foot to the first, with neither side forcing too many chances and both keepers fairly quiet until around the hour mark.

    A blatant handball decision should have given the Steelmen a glorious opportunity from the penalty spot when Lee Lucas got up to battle in the air with St Johnstone’s Shaughnessy. The defender’s hand denied the ‘Well midfielder’s header from heading towards goal but referee Willie Collum ignored the claims.

    A few minutes later the hosts drew level through Steven MacLean, when a deflected shot trundled in to the path of the striker, whose initial shot was tremendously saved by Samson but came ricocheting back off the player and in to the empty net.

    McGhee made two changes in relatively quick succession – withdrawing David Ferguson for Lee Lucas as he changed to a back four, and then replaced Lasley with Lionel Ainsworth as his side pushed for a winning goal in a delicately poised match.

    St Johnstone replaced Millar with Paul Paton with just over 20 minutes remaining and not long after, Moult went in to the referee’s book when he was adjudged to have impeded Shaughnessy when attacking the ball.

    Down the other end of the park, a golden opportunity was created for Blair Alston who tried to stroke neatly past Samson inside the box but the ‘Well stopper produced a tremendous save to keep the game level.

    Saints made their second change when they brought off Chris Kane for Graham Cummins and a couple of minutes later, it looked like the Steelmen were set to grab all three points when McDonald skipped past his man and slipped in Moult, but the forwards curling effort from an angle wouldn’t have counted if it snuck inside the post due to the linesman’s flag.

    In a nervy final few seconds, the fourth official indicated an additional four minutes was to be added at McDiarmid Park.

    Motherwell won a free kick when Ainsworth was thrown to the floor by Richard Foster, which resulted in a yellow card. The following set play was tossed in to the danger area, and a few loose headers eventually led to the home side clearing the danger and the two sides settling for a point apiece.

    [tab:As it happened]

     Alastair Reilly at McDiarmid Park

     

    FT: St Johnstone 1 – 1 Motherwell #SJFCvMFC

    90′ | 1-1
    There will be 4 minutes added on.

    89′ | 1-1
    Foster booked for hauling down Ainsworth as he broke away

    87′ | 1-1
    Looked like a glorious chance there for Moult as McDonald slides him in but its inches wide of the target and the flag went up

    86′ | 1-1
    Ball seems to take an eternity to fall out the sky to McDonald who opts for the first time volley but its over the bar.

    84′ | 1-1
    St Johnstone sub, Cummins on for Kane.

    83′ | 1-1
    Chance for Alston but Samson denies him with a great save as he burst through on goal.

    81′ | 1-1
    Final Motherwell change, Bowman on for McMillan

    76′ | 1-1
    Moult booked for impeding Shaughnessy with his arm as he rose to head the ball.

    73′ | 1-1
    Motherwell sub, Lasley off for Ainsworth

    69′ | 1-1
    St Johnstone sub, Millar off for Paton.

    62′ | 1-1
    Goal – Saints draw level. MacLean gets played in and his shot is well saved by Samson but the rebound cannons in off the striker

    61′ | 0-1
    McDonald gets down the right hand side and hangs up up at the back post but Lucas can’t test Clark with his header.

    60′ | 0-1
    McManus is booked for a foul on the touchline. From the free-kick Davidson heads wide.

    58′ | 0-1
    Motherwell sub, Ferguson makes way for Lucas

    56′ | 0-1
    Moult gets the break of the ball wide on the left but as he gets inside the area, he curls his shot well over the bar.

    54′ | 0-1
    Nearly the equaliser but Samson gathers Davidson’s header at the second time of asking.

    St Johnstone get the second half underway. COYW!!

    HT: St Johnstone 0 – 1 Motherwell #SJFCvMFC

    A quiet first 45 but ‘Well have the lead through that Clark own goal.

    45+1′ | 0-1
    Great save by Samson to deny MacLean’s header from 5 yards!!!

    45′ | 0-1
    St Johnstone forced into a change as Coulson limps off for Alston

    37′ | 0-1
    McMillan gets forward and tee’s up Lasley but he can’t hit the target with his strike.

    34′ | 0-1
    Clay looks off balance but attempts a shot from 25 yards, which trickles well wide of the post.

    25 | 0-1
    ‘Well defence holding strong as Heneghan blocks another Scobbie header on goal from a corner.

    17′ | 0-1
    MacLean gets a bit of space inside the area but Heneghan gets enough on it to take the sting out it and Samson gathers

    12′ | 0-1
    TAIT whips in a low cross which seems to go straight through Clark and into the net! 0-1 to the Steelmen!!!

    GGGGOOOOAAALLL!!!!

    4′ | 0-0
    Couple of early chances for Saints. Easton’s header is put wide then from corner Davidson heads over the bar

    Motherwell get the first half underway. COYW!!

    [tab:Reaction]

    Motherwell manager Mark McGhee:

     

    St Johnstone manager Tommy Wright:

     

    [tab:Man-of-the-match]

    [poll id=”301″]

  • Archive

    Midfielder Turnbull extends contract

    ‘Well starlet David Turnbull has committed his future to the club by penning a two-and-a-half year contract extension.

    The 17-year-old Academy product has been in sparkling form recently and is enjoying his second professional season in Claret and Amber.

    Operating in his preferred advanced role or as a deeper lying playmaker, Turnbull admitted he was “delighted” to secure his future with the club until summer 2019.

    He said: “I’m absolutely delighted to sign the new deal, it’s been going on a while now and I hope I can go on to really progress as a player over the next few years.”

    The youngster follows in the footsteps of youngsters Ross MacLea, Jack McMillan, Chris Cadden and Allan Campbell in extending his stay with the Steelmen, and Turnbull admits he thinks the future is bright for not only himself, but for the club too.

    [pullquote]I’m absolutely delighted to sign the new deal, it’s been going on a while now and I hope I can go on to really progress as a player over the next few years.[/pullquote]

    He said: “It’s great seeing the lads get a chance in the first team and as a player it shows you that you’ll get your chance here.

    “I think that attention to the youth team is something that makes Motherwell the club it is today.”

    Under Stephen Craigan, the young player admitted that he has learnt a lot and is happy with the way he is playing at the moment.

    He said: “I’ve learnt a lot from Crags, he gives us a lot of advice and is always looking to build on your strengths and teach you how to get rid of your weaknesses.

    “It took me a little while to get off the mark in terms of goals, but now that I have they’ve kept coming and I’ve been delighted with the way I’m playing at the moment.”

    [pullquote]It took me a little while to get off the mark in terms of goals, but now that I have they’ve kept coming and I’ve been delighted with the way I’m playing at the moment.[/pullquote]

    He added: “Looking forward, I just hope that I can continue to play well for the 20s and take my opportunity to break in to the first team when I’m given the chance.”

    ‘Well boss Mark McGhee said: “It’s been a productive few weeks for us in terms of securing some of our brightest prospects to new deals.

    “I’m delighted to see that David has extended his stay with us because I have high hopes for him and I know Stephen Craigan does too.”

    “At just 17 years of age, he has all the attributes needed for a player in his position – a fantastic touch, great vision and an eye for goal too. He still has things he needs to work on, and he knows that, but you he’s still so very young and we are very confident it won’t be long before he, like the others, is chapping on the door.”

  • Archive

    Two fixtures switched

    Two of Motherwell’s games at the start of the new year will be covered live by both Sky Sports and BT Sport.

    The match against Rangers, scheduled for Saturday 28th January at Fir Park, will go ahead on the same day, but will kick-off at 12.30pm, live on Sky Sports.

    The home match against Hearts, scheduled for the Saturday 4th February, will also remain on the same day but will have an earlier kick-off time of 12:15pm, live on BT Sport.

  • Archive

    St Johnstone: A closer look

    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.”

     

  • Archive

    Collum to officiate Saints clash

    Referee for Saturday’s league clash with St Johnstone at McDiarmid Park is the experienced Willie Collum.

    One of Europe’s most recognisable officials, Willie will be handling his second ‘Well fixture of the campaign, after taking charge of the Lanarkshire derby back in September.

    And it was a historic day too, as star forward Louis Moult bagged a phenomenal four goals as the Steelmen stormed to a 4-2 victory over local rivals Hamilton.

    Last season, Collum took charge on three occasions – all resulting in 2-1 defeats.

    The first was a defesat to eventual Champions Celtic, who clinched a 2-1 victory on a day when the Steelmen put in a sound display.

    The other two fixtures also ended in 1-2 home defeats. The first was at the hands of Aberdeen when Marvin Johnson’s early opener was cancelled out by Niall McGinn and Ash Taylor.

    The second, at the end of January, ended with Ross County taking the points when Stephen Pearson’s late goal wasn’t enough to earn the Fir Parkers anything after Jackson Irvine and Brian Graham had put the Staggies into a commanding lead.

    Those results are on the back of the six he took charge of in the 2014/15 campaign too.

    His overall record in charge of the Steelmen reads ten wins, eighteen defeats and seven draws from thirty-five matches (in all competitions).

    In those games, Motherwell have scored 50 and conceded 64.

    78 players have gone into the book, 36 wearing Claret and Amber, while six players have been dismissed – Ian Murray of Hibs at Easter Road seven years back, Jerard Aafjes at Falkirk seven seasons ago, Paul Dixon at the end of 2009/10, Henrik Ojamaa at the Caledonian Stadium and Fraser Kerr down at Rugby Park. Stephen McManus was shown a red card against Aberdeen but that was later rescinded after an appeal.

    Willie will be assisted by Gavin Harris and Paul O’Neill with David Lowe listed as fourth official.

  • Archive

    Players visit Wishaw General

    Stars from the first team squad visited the Children’s Ward at Wishaw General Hospital this afternoon.

    Captain Keith Lasley, Louis Moult, Lionel Ainsworth, Richard Tait, Steven Hammell and Chris Cadden visited Ward 20 and gave out Motherwell FC goody bags,  spreading some Christmas cheer to the young kids.

    Motherwell FC would like to thank the hospital’s staff, who do a wonderful job and are an inspiration to all.

     

     

  • Archive

    Moult: Focussed on Saints clash

    ‘Well striker Louis Moult insists preparation for Saturday’s match won’t have been affected by the abandoned match on Tuesday night.

    Speaking to the press this morning, 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.

    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.”

    [pullquote]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]

    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.”

    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.”

    [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]

    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.”

  • Archive

    McGhee: We must be better

    ‘Well boss Mark McGhee feels his side must be better this Saturday than in previous meetings with St Johnstone.

    The Saints come in to Saturday’s match on the back of a goalless draw with Aberdeen and occupy fifth spot in the table.

    The Fir Park boss, who will serve the final game of his ban after it was carried over from Tuesday, knows it will be a tough match for his side.

    Speaking to the press this morning, he said: “St Johnstone are consistent, they finished fourth last year and they are up there again so we know that they are tough opposition.

    “We’ve lost narrowly most times we’ve played them recently, but we’ve never really played well against them so clearly we’re going to have to play better than what we’ve played in the other games because they are the type of team that you do have to break down and you won’t just beat them by turning up.”

    After Tuesday nights abandoned match against Aberdeen, McGhee admitted that the inconvenience of the round trip wasn’t a major problem for him and his side.

    Speaking to the press this morning, the manager insisted unforeseen circumstances like floodlight failure can happen to any club.

    [pullquote]St Johnstone are consistent, they finished fourth last year and they are up there again so we know that they are tough opposition.[/pullquote]

    He said: “We got over the events midweek quickly, what can you do? I know that they had plans next week to completely renew the wiring so they just got caught out a bit and that can happen to anyone.

    “We have no problem with that, we’ll go back and play them whenever the game is rescheduled.”

    The match lasted a mere eight minutes before the decision was made to abandon play due to floodlight failures.

    And McGhee joked: “I thought we started well on Tuesday, but the surprise to me was that when we looked at the stats Aberdeen had 92% possession which was disappointing.”

    However, the unforeseen circumstances may act as a blessing in disguise for the Steelmen.

    McGhee said: “We actually went in to the game with Scott McDonald, Chris Cadden and Stephen McManus all struggling a bit. Cadden especially who we gave a fitness test before we left and he wanted to play and said that he felt alright but we were a bit nervous about it.

    “When we came back in to the dressing room Scotty said he was struggling so maybe that’s worked for us because maybe he would’ve struggled more late in the game or even before that.

    “We’ve got to accentuate the positives so hopefully they’ve got a couple of days now to recover in order to be fit for the St Johnstone game.”

    [pullquote] When I’m with Scotland I sit in the stand for the first half anyway and I report down to Gordon at half time or before if I need to, so I’m used to it and it’s not a big deal really.[/pullquote]

    On his ban, the manager said: “When I’m with Scotland I sit in the stand for the first half anyway and I report down to Gordon at half time or before if I need to, so I’m used to it and it’s not a big deal really.”

    With his absence in the dugout, assistant manager James McFadden has stepped up and McGhee believes he will have a future in the game as a manager one day.

    He joked: “Well we’ve had two games and he’s only had two nil-nil draws, I think that says it all, he has to do better.

    “But no Faddy’s young – there’s been a lot of talk about the lad at Hearts and I don’t think that you can be too young.

    “I started in management at 34 when I was at Reading and Faddy’s 33, but he’s loving it and that’s the important thing.”

    He added: “I think when he took the job he wasn’t sure exactly that it was what he wanted and I think in the short period he’s been in the position he’s certainly established that this is what he wants to do, so he’ll be a quick learner.

    “It wouldn’t surprise me if he became a manager one day, he’s a confident lad, quietly confident, he talks with authority, he has convictions and he’s not wishy-washy about his beliefs and how the game should be played so it’s important that he has those convictions and a direction.”

  • Archive

    TV: Highlights from Excelsior Stadium

    Extended highlights from Excelsior Stadium as goals from Jake Hastie and David Turnbull give ‘Well a 2-1 win over Rangers Under 20s.

  • Archive

    Craigan: Glad with win

    U20s manager Stephen Craigan admitted it was nice to see his side return to winning ways as they beat Rangers U20s 2-1 in the Development League tonight.

    While the manager prioritises performance levels first and foremost from his youngsters, he felt that the feeling of winning will do his team good.

    Speaking to MFC TV after the match, Craigan said: “We always talk about development and not necessarily winning football but it’s nice for the boys to learn how to win a game.

    “They’ve had a little sticky spell, we’ve got a few players missing who would normally play so credit to the young ones who have come in.

    [pullquote]We always talk about development and not necessarily winning football but it’s nice for the boys to learn how to win a game.[/pullquote]

    He added: “We haven’t had a lot of fit defenders so we had a bit of a makeshift back four with Tom Fry at right back alongside Barry Maguire and Jordan Armstrong, who hasn’t played too much and then Adam Livingstone at left back.”

    Craigan was complimentary of the young Rangers team too, who grew in to the match in the second half.

    He said: “Rangers had a young team too, maybe just slightly younger but they beat an experienced Dundee side 3-0 last week and they beat Hearts 5-2 in the youth cup.

    “So, irrespective of age they’re a good footballing side and they like to move the ball.”

    [pullquote]I think we scored goals at the right time, the game was kind of caught in between the two teams but then we got the goal and then the second on the stroke of half time, which kind of takes the sting out of Rangers[/pullquote]

    A goal from Jake Hastie and a neat finish from David Turnbull in the first half was enough to secure the win and despite Liam Burt’s strike to pull a goal back early in the second half, the Steelmen stayed strong.

    He said: “I think we scored goals at the right time, the game was kind of caught in between the two teams but then we got the goal and then the second on the stroke of half time, which kind of takes the sting out of Rangers and then gives us a bit more relaxation in the second half.”

    He added: “When it goes to 2-1 we’ve seen in before we can crumble but it’s a little test of character to see how you get on, so it was nice that we managed to wrestle the game back and I think in the end we probably just slightly edged the game to win it.”