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    Ross County: A closer look

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    Staggies matchday magazine preview

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    Lasley: We’re determined

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    Robinson: Pressure will drive us

  • Archive

    Secure your new season ticket tomorrow

  • Archive

    TV: Highlights from Ibrox

  • Archive

    Craigan: Huge bonus today

  • Archive

    Rangers U20s 2 – 1 Motherwell U20s

  • Archive

    Goal Zone with Chris Cadden

  • Archive

    Reduced Hospitality price

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    Ross County: A closer look

    Motherwell host Ross County in the penultimate home league match of the 2016/17 campaign.

    Ahead of what is yet another huge fixture, the Steelmen’s preparations took to the turf at Fir Park for training on Wednesday and Thursday.

    And ‘Well boss Stephen Robinson knows that the pressure is beginning to mount but he insists his side are not shying away from it.

    With four games remaining, the Steelmen sit in the relegation play-off spot, joint on points with Hamilton and one point behind Dundee.

    And Robinson isn’t trying to hide the pressure from his players, admitting he believes they will excel from it.

    Speaking to the press this morning, he said: “We’re feeling good, we’ve trained all week and trained on the pitch too which gave everyone a boost and obviously the standard of our pitch is superb.

    “We’ve had some good work done this week so now we’re looking forward to the game.”

    He added: “I don’t think that you can hide that there’s pressure, I don’t care what way you do it, there’s pressure.”

    [pullquote]We’re feeling good, we’ve trained all week and trained on the pitch too which gave everyone a boost and obviously the standard of our pitch is superb.[/pullquote]

    The Fir Park gaffer will still be without Stephen McManus, Richard Tait and Jacob Blyth who are out through injuries, while James McFadden’s return to fitness has been marked by two appearances this week in the under-20s.

    Tickets for the crucial clash can be purchased tomorrow morning from 10am until kick off from the Fir Park ticket office, as well as on the turnstiles.

    For those who can’t make it, you can follow all the action on Twitter @MotherwellFC and listen to live commentary on mixlr.com/motherwellfc

    Well skipper Keith Lasley returned to Stephen Robinson’s starting eleven last weekend after missing out through suspension, and the skipper is ready for another battle at Fir Park tomorrow.

    But the captain, in all of his experience, knows what it takes at this stage of the season and despite the positive performance against Dundee, all that matters now is the three points.

    The midfielder admitted that the positive environment around the club as a whole is something the players need to consider and thrive from on the park.

    The 37-year-old said: “It’s obviously a pressure situation, we’ve been through it before and we know what the implications are for the club if we don’t get the wins required.

    “We’re determined, we’ve trained well again and we’re just ready to go for another home game on Saturday knowing the importance of three points.”

    [pullquote]For me there is so much good work going on around this club, even this week with the season ticket initiatives, but we know the primary driver for all of that is what happens out there on a Saturday.[/pullquote]

    He added: “Sometimes you don’t think about everything else that goes on at a football club, as a player you’re so focussed on your own training and preparing for each game that you kind of forget everything that’s going on around you.

    “For me there is so much good work going on around this club, even this week with the season ticket initiatives, but we know the primary driver for all of that is what happens out there on a Saturday.”

     

    Saturday’s visitors Ross County find themselves in a fight for survival with the Fir Parkers and will be raring to go as they battle for victory tomorrow.

    Manager Jim McIntyre will have been looking for some kind of morale boost heading in to such an important run of matches, and the Staggies have certainly been given one following a fantastic recent run of results.

    The Northerners are now unbeaten in their last four matches, a run of form matched only by Champions Celtic.

    In that period, County have drawn with the Hoops and put their Northern neighbours Inverness to the sword in a 4-0 thrashing.

    Top scorer Liam Boyce bagged all four goals as his side won the Highland derby, leaving Inverness’ relegation fears sliding ever more dangerously towards confirmation.

    The striker pounced on Caley keeper Ryan Esson’s error to bag the opener and made it 2-0 with a neat, flicked header.

    He then scored twice from the spot in the second half as the Caley Jags went down to ten men when Liam Polworth was sent off for giving away the second.

    County now find themselves eighth in the table, eleven points above Inverness with a tally of twelve left to play for.

    After the win, Jim McIntyre said: “We’re obviously delighted to get the victory in the manner we did.

    “Our second half performance was fantastic and it was a very tight game to start with – both sides had spells and it was quite frantic and frenetic at time because derby matches are.”

    He added: “Getting that all important first goal is crucial in these games and we managed to kick on from there.”

    While Boyce is on fire and County finds themselves in the midst of one of the best runs they’ve enjoyed this season, today’s visitors will be without their top goal scorer who is suspended for his side’s trip to Fir Park today.

    The forward’s quadruple took his tally to 20 league goals and that will undoubtedly be a loss this afternoon.

    However, McIntyre reflected on how well his side performed against Inverness on an evening where they were without some important players.

    He said: “We didn’t have a recognised centre-back tonight, we had a back three of full-backs and they dealt with the threats Inverness posed well.

    “Our two strikers were exceptional as well and Boyce will get the headlines but him and Curran are such a potent partnership.”

    Another dent will be the absence of Alex Schalk, the clubs second top goal scorer, who is missing through suspension today following the disciplinary action sanctioned to him after his simulation during the 2-2 draw with Celtic.

    But the Staggies boss believes Craig Curran is hitting a fine run of form and will certainly be a threat on show for the visitors this afternoon.

    McIntyre said: “Craig’ back to his very best and you could clearly see that tonight and that’s where the first goal came from – Craig being determined and winning that header then Boyce doesn’t give up at the back post.”

    Tomorrow afternoon’s fixture is the fourth clash between the two sides following two wins for Motherwell and one draw and is undeniably the most important meeting between the two this term.

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    Staggies matchday magazine preview

    The twentieth issue of the Steelmen matchday magazine is on sale ahead of tomorrow’s league clash with Ross County at Fir Park.

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

    ‘Well legend Stevie Hammell looks ahead to the all-important match, and calls on everyone to stand up and be counted as the Fir Parkers search for three points in the hunt for survival.

    Stephen Robinson gives his thoughts ahead of the game and there is an update from club captain Keith Lasley, along with ‘Getting to Know You’ – where Ryan Bowman is profiled – in the latest issue of the 2016/17 season programme.

    The interesting feature ‘Well in Numbers’, where feature writer Andrew Paterson looks at some of the key numbers in Motherwell history, continues.

    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.

    ‘Steelmen’ main features on tomorrow’s opposition remain, including an in depth look at Ross County as well as the ‘Tactics Board’, where we look at Jim McIntyre’s previous starting eleven as the Staggies arrive at Fir Park in the midst of a four game unbeaten run.

    Our match report section looks back on the Fir Parker’s 2-3 loss at home to Dundee last weekend.

    An update on Stephen Craigan’s U20s side is included too, reporting on the youngster’s recent run of results.

    All the latest news from Fir Park is included too, and you’ll 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.

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    Lasley: We’re determined

    ‘Well skipper Keith Lasley looked ahead to tomorrow’s clash with Ross County and admitted he and his teammates are feeling “determined”.

    The midfielder spoke of the positive environment around the club as a whole and expressed the need for three points this weekend as he addressed the broadcast press at Fir Park this morning.

    The club captain said: “It’s obviously a pressure situation, we’ve been through it before and we know what the implications are for the club if we don’t get the wins required.

    [pullquote]For me there is so much good work going on around this club, even this week with the season ticket initiatives, but we know the primary driver for all of that is what happens out there on a Saturday.[/pullquote]

    “We’re determined, we’ve trained well again and we’re just ready to go for another home game on Saturday knowing the importance of three points.”

    He added: “Sometimes you don’t think about everything else that goes on at a football club, as a player you’re so focussed on your own training and preparing for each game that you kind of forget everything that’s going on around you.

    “For me there is so much good work going on around this club, even this week with the season ticket initiatives, but we know the primary driver for all of that is what happens out there on a Saturday.”

    You can watch Lasley’s full press conference on MFC TV’s official YouTube channel.

    MFC TV

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    Robinson: Pressure will drive us

    ‘Well boss Stephen Robinson insisted that his side are not shying away from pressure as they prepare to take on Ross County tomorrow afternoon.

    With four games remaining, the Steelmen sit in the relegation play-off spot, joint on points with Hamilton and one point behind Dundee.

    And Robinson isn’t trying to hide the pressure from his players, admitting he believes they will excel from it.

    [pullquote]I don’t think that you can hide that there’s pressure, I don’t care what way you do it, there’s pressure.[/pullquote]

    Speaking to the press this morning, he said: “We’re feeling good, we’ve trained all week and trained on the pitch too which gave everyone a boost and obviously the standard of our pitch is superb.

    “We’ve had some good work done this week so now we’re looking forward to the game.”

    He added: “I don’t think that you can hide that there’s pressure, I don’t care what way you do it, there’s pressure.”

    You can watch the manager’s full press conference on MFC TV’s official YouTube channel.

    MFC TV

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    Secure your new season ticket tomorrow

    The ticket office will be open tomorrow (Saturday) from 10am, which means you can get in early to renew or buy your season ticket for 2017/18.

    The club have frozen season ticket prices in all areas of the ground whilst reducing prices to just £20 for those that are fifteen or under.

    In addition, the popular WELLevate initiative for families continues for another year meaning that every adult that buys a season ticket in the Davie Cooper stand can bring up to two juniors (15 or under) for free. That’s just over £5 each per game! You can also continue to get discounts and added value at numerous local businesses throughout Lanarkshire.

    And there has been a great initial uptake, with sales already up by 50% on the same time last year.

    Chief Operating Officer Alan Burrows said “The response since the launch, which we worked hard on, has been very pleasing and we thank those that have purchased to date.

    “Over a quarter of those that have secured their seat for next season have been brand new season ticket holders, which is extremely encouraging.

    “It is vital for the future of this club that we not only maintain our current season ticket holders but also show growth in those key areas as we look to build the next generation of ‘Well fans”.

    You can find more information and download the forms for the 2017/18 season ticket from our microsite www.mymfc.co.uk.

  • Archive

    TV: Highlights from Ibrox

    Extended highlights from Ibrox as the Under 20s sign-off their 16/17 campaign with a 2-1 loss to Rangers.

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    Craigan: Huge bonus today

    Stephen Craigan admitted that today was a “huge bonus” as he was able to give some youngsters a run out in the final Development League game of the campaign.

    The Northern Irishman introduced 14-year-old’s Cole Starrs and Reece McAlear to the action at Ibrox and the boss reflected on the positives of a successful campaign.

    But, after his side slipped to a 2-1 defeat, he looked back on today’s match and admitted there were some disappointing aspects.

    Speaking to MFC TV at full time, Craigan said: “I think it was a game that we potentially should have won, it was a bit open at times and a little bit scrappy but the starting eleven we picked today have never played together before so I feel we looked a little bit disconnected with regards to passing and link-up play.

    [pullquote]The huge added bonus is that we’re getting some younger players some game time. Jamie Semple came on, he’s 15, Cole Starrs and Reece McAlear came on and they’re 14.[/pullquote]

    “I generally think that in terms of chances created in both halves that the least we would’ve deserved was a draw from the game.”

    He added: “So it’s disappointing from that perspective but the huge added bonus is that we’re getting some younger players some game time. Jamie Semple came on, he’s 15, Cole Starrs and Reece McAlear came on and they’re 14, so it shows you what we’ll be doing moving forward.”

    You can watch Craigan’s full post-match interview on MFC TV’s official YouTube channel.

    MFC TV

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    Rangers U20s 2 – 1 Motherwell U20s

    Motherwell under-20s wrapped up their Development League campaign at Ibrox, but slumped to a 2-1 defeat.

    A penalty from Jake Hastie wasn’t enough as goals from Amin Abaradan and Josh Jeffries wrapped up all three points for the hosts.

    Under-20s manager Stephen Craigan called upon senior players Joe Chalmers and James McFadden, and there was a first under-20s start for Alfredo Agyeman who lit up the youngsters match against Inverness on Monday after stepping off the bench.

    The young Steelmen didn’t start their trip to Glasgow on a similar foot to which they ended their game on Monday, and nearly paid the price after just three minutes.

    The lively Serge Atakayi managed to breach the ‘Well defence and, from just six yards out, somehow opened his body too much as he passed it wide of the post.

    That let off was nearly taken advantage of by the visiting Fir Parkers who went close through McFadden following a set piece. Tom Fry’s delivery was cleared initially but only as far as the forward, whose effort rose over the crossbar from the edge of the box.

    Rangers took full advantage of the next chance that fell their way though, when Amin Abaradan curled a cool effort beyond Ollie Pain in to the far corner in the 21st minute.

    That sparked a resurgence in the ‘Well ranks though and Rangers could feel relieved to see a couple of glorious McFadden freekicks whistle inches wide of the mark in the space of ten minutes.

    With eight minutes remaining in the opening half, Motherwell won a penalty and it was Ross MacLean who won the spot kick, just like against Inverness on Monday afternoon. The youngster, just back from injury, was dragged to the deck but Jake Hastie stepped up to convert the equaliser and it was more than deserved for the Steelmen.

    And it could have been two for Craigan’s side and two for Hastie, when a glorious opportunity fell to the youngster just seconds before the half time whistle.

    Some good work by Agyenman allowed him to lift the ball back across goal and over the defence to the awaiting Hastie, who took a good touch and laced an effort on goal from close range. McCrorie made himself big to get something to it though and he ensured it looped up over the bar.

    The second half started on a more positive note than the first, with two decent chances falling Motherwell’s way within the first three minutes.

    The first one, just 90 seconds in to the second period, came from a punch by the Gers stopper following a cross. It fell for McFadden who had to hit it first time on the bounce and at pace, and it went narrowly past the post.

    A minute later Agyeman showed good composure to set himself in the box, but his effort on target was denied by a fine stop.

    And the Fir Parkers were punished in the 50th minute when a cut back from the by line somehow opened up acres of space for the awaiting Josh Jeffries who side footed beyond Pain to send the hosts in front.

    The game largely settled down after that, and it wasn’t until the 72nd minute when there could have potentially been another goal.

    Winning the ball high up the park, Rangers outnumbered ‘Well as they surged forward on the break. Despite having two teammates unmarked and in promising positions, goalscorer Abaradan elected to go for goal and turned his effort wide – much to his teammates frustration.

    Motherwell’s big chance to draw level came with ten minutes left to play, when Hastie raced through to latch on to a bouncing, short back pass. As McCrorie surged out of his goal, the ‘Well man managed to steer it past the keeper but, as it flew towards an open goal, it came crashing back out off the crossbar.

    It turned out to be the final major opportunity for Craigan’s side, who ended their campaign with a defeat, but it doesn’t take away from the superb campaign they’ve enjoyed under the Northern Irishman, finishing with a highest ever league tally of 57 points.

     

     

    Motherwell U20s: Pain, Watt, Livingstone, Chalmers, Armstrong, MacDonald (McAlear ’82), MacLean, Agyeman (Starrs ’75), McFadden(Semple ’62), Hastie, Fry

     

    Unused subs: Pettigrew, Brown

  • Archive

    Goal Zone with Chris Cadden

    Chris Cadden sits down with MFC TV’s Lewis Irons to discuss his latest goal for the Steelmen.

    The midfielder grabbed his second goal in as many games as he latched on to the end of Lionel Ainsworth’s ball to pull one back against Dundee.

    Unfortunately it wasn’t enough as Stephen Robinson’s men lost 3-2, but when looking back, the youngster reflected on his fifth goal of the season in all competitions.

    [pullquote]I don’t actually know what I’m doing that high up the park because I’m playing right-back at this stage of the game and I’ve just tried to get myself in the box.[/pullquote]

    He said: “I don’t actually know what I’m doing that high up the park because I’m playing right-back at this stage of the game and I’ve just tried to get myself in the box.

    “Lionel’s ball has come across, I’ve just tried to stay onside and then stretch to get the tap in.”

    He added: “Because Lionel’s playing he likes to go inside at times and that allows me to push on and get in to that position.”

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    Reduced Hospitality price

    Enjoy our last Saturday match of the season in hospitality, available now at a reduced price!

    The Club are offering supporters the opportunity to enjoy our Twist and Pout and Bois Club packages, including a hot one course buffet, half-time pies, a matchday programme, teamsheet and complimentary drinks, for just £75 per-person.

    There are child prices/packages also available too.

    Don’t miss out on this exclusive offer. Simply email hospitality@motherwellfc.co.uk or phone 01698 333 333 for more information or to book a place now.

    Season book holders can also upgrade to hospitality from as little as £35pp.