Trevor Carson has been called up to the Northern Ireland squad for their upcoming friendlies.
The stopper, who earned his first cap in the summer against South Korea, makes the cut for Michael O’Neill’s 25-man squad.
They will face Bosnia & Herzegovina and Israel in the upcoming international break.
Headlines from the manager’s press conference
Thursday 23 August 2018
Manager Stephen Robinson spoke to the broadcast media on Thursday, as Motherwell prepare to take on Rangers in the Ladbrokes Premiership.
The Northern Irishman tackled a wide range of subjects as his side count down to the televised fixture on Sunday.
On Sunday’s match with Rangers at Fir Park
“I am really looking forward to it. We got our first win against Livingston and I thought we played very well. We did [played well] against Hamilton at times, but didn’t quite get the rub of the green, but it was an important and we need to push on and try and get our league season kicked off.”
On Rangers and what to expect
“They’ve started well, there’s no denying it and look a lot more solid. They don’t look as if they are going to concede too many goals. That said, I’ve seen them in a few games and there are areas I feel we can exploit.
“All the talk will be about Rangers, how they’ve changed and what they are going to do. We have to very much make it about us. We’re at home and have to try and take the game to them.”
On what dynamic Kyle Lafferty will add
“I know Laff [Kyle Lafferty] really well. It’s obviously a good move for him. It’s a club he’s always supported, but I try to concentrate on us. We focus on what we can do to try and beat Rangers and how we can take the game to them. We know what their threats are, I’ve seen them four or five times and I plan to go to their European game as well.
“By the time Sunday comes, we’ll have had a very good look at them. We know where they are strong, we know where they have improved but as I’ve said, we also know where we think we can exploit them.”
On being the underdog in the matches
“I often wonder if we’re actually playing in games like this. No seriously, that’s how it is and I am happy with that and, as you say, go under the radar. It’s an important one for us to try and get our league season kicked off.”
On the Rangers’ threats for the game
“They don’t concede many goals, they are a very disciplined, well-organised side. It’s obvious the new manager and the staff have emphasised that so far this season. They have threats up front, you have already seen what Morelos can do and they’ve brought Laff [Kyle Lafferty] in.
“They’ve got various options, they’ve got different ways, formations they can play and different people they can put in, so we’ll try and be as well prepared as we can for what will come.”
On whether on not Rangers can challenge for the title.
“It’s not for me to say who can challenge for the league title, it’s for me to worry about Motherwell, about kicking our league season off and making sure we go into Sunday with a game plan for trying to win it. It’s not for me to assess Rangers’ chances of winning the league, I am the Motherwell manager and that’s my sole focus.”
On whether last weekend’s win gives the team added confidence going into the match.
“It’s amazing the atmosphere around the place when you do win a game. Obviously everyone was disappointed after the Hamilton game and that was magnified one million times because it’s your local rivals. However, we knew the good things we did in that and what we had to improve on and I felt we did that against Livingston.
“The atmosphere around the place since has been really good, really positive and there’s no fear factor from us. We genuinely believe we can go in and give them a real game.”
On showing Rangers “no respect”
“I am not sure about showing them no respect. I’ve got the upmost respect for every club we play against. So respect yes, but fear factor, no. We’ll try our best to impose ourselves and our game on them.”
On pyrotechnics after Police Scotland’s Chief Constable’s comments on pyrotechnics
“To be honest, I have no knowledge of how dangerous they are. It’s not my area of expertise, I tend to try and stick to what I know. What I would say is that I think Scottish football is very safe and I’d have no problems taking my children to matches.
“As a matter of fact, both are coming to the game this Sunday and I have no concerns. I don’t know if I am in a position to overrule the Chief Constable as it were, he’ll know better than me I suppose.”
On whether pyrotechnics have disrupted any matches
“Personally speaking, they haven’t disrupted any games I’ve been involved in. If anything, they add colour, but I am obviously not an expert on whether they are dangerous or not. All I can speak from is my own experiences and they haven’t caused a problem in any game I’ve been involved.”
On Gary Holt being appointed Livingston manager
“I wish any manager taking any job the very best of luck. It’s such a difficult industry with a severe lack of patience. He’s got experience, he knows the Scottish game and I wish Gary all the very best, expect in games against us, of course.”
On Kenny Miller and if he is of interest now he’s a free agent
“I’ve got a lot of depth in that area at the moment. Ryan Bowman will be available for the game on Sunday having trained all week. You never rule anything out in football, but I certainly wouldn’t discuss who I want to bring to the club in this setting. It’s something I try to keep in house out of respect for everybody.”
On two players included in the Scotland Under 21 squad
“Their inclusion is thoroughly deserved in my opinion. We gave Allan a rest last weekend as he hasn’t had a break all summer. He played five games for the U20s and was terrific, as he was when he came on last weekend. Chris Cadden has gone from strength to strength and I sure Alex [McLeish] will be very aware of both when it comes to the full squad.”
On whether both can progress to the full Scotland squad
“I do – I’ve spoke to Alex at games and he’s very aware of both boys. It’s only a matter of time, but it’s obviously important that both keep doing the business for Motherwell and keep producing their best form and if they do, I am sure they’ll get their just rewards.”
What other teams news do you have ahead of the game
“Ryan Bowman is available for selection as is Liam Grimshaw. We’ve still got Charles Dunne, Craig Tanner and Liam Donnelly missing, but we have a bigger squad than we did last weekend!”
On whether Rangers’ early season performance / Gerrard is good for the game
“It certainly raises the profile of the league in terms of live matches, publicity and the amount of press it gets. Hopefully, in turn, that brings additional finances into the game, which improves the overall structure of Scottish football that, for me, is very much on the up. If anyone is contributing to that, whether it’s Rangers, Aberdeen or anyone else, then of course we welcome that.”
On the different challenge posed by Rangers after the summer overhaul
“You’ve said it – they have an overhaul so they’ll obviously be a different team with different players. Every manager that comes in has a different way of doing things, different way of playing and a different way to set up, so they’ll be different in that aspect.
“Again, it’s not for me to comment on whether they’ve improved or haven’t improved under previous managers. That’s none of my business as I say Motherwell and winning games is my sole focus and I will concentrate on us without worrying too much about what goes on with anyone else.”
A coffee and a chat with Andy Rose
Wednesday 22 August 2018
Andy Rose is the latest player to join us for a coffee and a chat, as we build up to the weekend game with Rangers.
The midfielder discusses the win over Livingston, going toe-to-toe with the Light Blues and his experiences of taking on Steven Gerrard.
Our interview was filmed at the Windmills Cafe in Motherwell.
Motherwell’s Irn-Bru Cup second round tie with Dundee Colts will be played on Thursday, 6 September.
Stephen Craigan’s side will face the Dee at Dens Park, with kick-off scheduled for 7pm.
Motherwell won their first round tie for the third successive season, eliminated Lowland League side East Stirlingshire following quick-fire goals from David Turnbull, Broque Watson and Jake Hastie.
Dundee edged out fellow Colts side Hibernian on penalties, after a 2-2 draw at Dens.
Tickets for the match will be priced at £5 for adults and £2 for concessions.
Reserves & Under 18s
The goals from the Reserves’ win over Hearts
Tuesday 21 August 2018
George Newell and Neil McLaughlin grabbed the goals as Motherwell Reserves opened their league campaign with a win over Hearts.
After success against East Stirlingshire in the IRN-BRU Cup last week, Stephen Craigan’s side made it back-to-back victories in the match at Forthbank.
Reserves & Under 18s
Stephen Craigan happy with opening win
Tuesday 21 August 2018
Stephen Craigan says there were strong performances throughout his reserves side, as they opened their league campaign with a victory over Hearts.
George Newell and Neil McLaughlin scored second half goals against an experienced visiting team, as ‘Well recorded back-to-back victories after cup success last week.
Reserves & Under 18s
Reserves: Motherwell 2-0 Hearts
Tuesday 21 August 2018
Motherwell reserves started their league campaign with a 2-0 win over Hearts at Forthbank Stadium.
Stephen Craigan selected a young side for the clash with the Jambos, naming summer signings Christian Mbulu and Neil McLaughlin in the starting team.
Hearts, on the other hand, had an experienced line up on show at Forthbank Stadium. Ryan Edwards, Arnaud Djoum and Harry Cochrane were the three standouts, lining up in the visitors midfield.
It was a fast start for the Steelmen, who put the visitors under pressure from the first whistle and looked sure to take the lead early on when Neil McLaughlin won a penalty in the seventh minute.
As the attacking midfielder attempted to turn an effort on goal, he was brushed aside and the referee immediately pointed to the spot.
Up stepped George Newell, who sent a decent effort to the keepers left, but Hearts stopper Mason produced an equally decent save to keep the score level.
In a rather dull first half, Hearts went close through Cochrane from distance, and Barry Maguire sent a volley wide of the mark just after the half hour mark.
Craigan made one change at the break, replacing Jamie Semple for Broque Watson.
But it was McLaughlin who went closest to an opener, rising highest from a freekick to nod on target from inside the six-yard box, but Mason did well to palm it away.
With just under 15 minutes remaining, the deadlock was broken.
Mbulu, bringing the ball down in the box and firing across goal, nearly found Jason Krones to prod home, but the centre-back couldn’t connect to find the target. Fortunately, the ball fell kindly for Newell, who made no mistake from eight yards as he made amends for his earlier penalty miss to put the Steelmen in front.
Five minutes later, the lead was doubled and it was a well taken goal from McLaughlin which put the seal on proceedings at Forthbank.
Newell found Watson on the right flank in acres of space. He cut infield and his pass found McLaughlin on the edge of the box, who showed terrific composure to take a touch and fire low beyond Mason to wrap up all three points.
Midfielders get Scotland Under 21 call
Tuesday 21 August 2018
Chris Cadden and Allan Campbell have been called up to the Scotland Under 21 squad for their forthcoming UEFA qualifiers against Andorra and the Netherlands.
Cadden, who now has two full caps to his name, and Campbell both started when the Scots beat the Dutch 2-0 at St Mirren Park last September and in the 1-1 draw away to Andorra in March.
The young Scots, fresh from their semi-final finish at the Toulon tournament back in June, sit three points behind second spot and trail Group 4 leaders England by eight points after six matches.
Scot Gemmill’s side will face the Andorrans at Tynecastle on Wednesday 6 September, before heading to the Netherlands and the Stadium de Vijverberg in Doetinchem on Tuesday 11 September.
Tanner approaching the home stretch
Monday 20 August 2018
It’s been a long road back from recovery for Craig Tanner.
But the time has come for the Englishman to ditch the crutches and return to the grass as he reaches the home stretch of a difficult route back to fitness.
Determined to come back even stronger, Tanner admits he still has a long way to go.
“It’s been a positive couple of weeks,” he said. “I had a tough month or so when things wouldn’t quite settle down, but hopefully now I’m on the home stretch.”
The attacker knows the importance of patience and positivity at such a frustrating time for a footballer, and he owes much to head physiotherapist David Henderson.
“I’m starting to limp around a bit. I think I’m going out on the grass on Tuesday to work on some light running mechanics with Davie, so it’s a positive start and we’ll see how it goes.
“Davie Henderson has been so important in helping me, not just in terms of the work he does but even little things. We take the mick out of each other to keep us laughing, and stuff like that is huge sometimes.”
The recovery room is starting to get a little bit busier for the medical team, and Tanner admits it has been a lonely place until recently.
“A few lads have joined me on loan at Injury FC,” he joked. “Thankfully it’s just short-term for them. But it’s good, we have a laugh and a joke about things but we all just want to get back on the pitch really.”
And that’s getting closer and closer for one of Motherwell’s creative sparks, whose patella tendon injury will keep him out for at least another month at the very least.
“To be honest when it first happened, the thought of even running lightly seemed a million miles away, but I see now how much I’ve come on over the past six months,” he said.
“But to be honest, some days are better than others and some days are harder too. Sometimes I feel I’ve still got a long way to go, so I just need to be patient and positive too.”
Running and moving around the pitch will be difficult for the 23-year-old initially, but the thought of kicking a ball after such a long spell is something else entirely.
“I need to make sure I’ve still got the technique, that’s the problem! But as always the boys are winding me up about that, saying I won’t have my left-foot whips anymore.
“But to be honest it’s gone alright so I just have to see what happens really and tick the boxes as I go along.”
Motherwell’s number 27 knows he has been lucky with the support around him, and it’s been what’s kept his head up.
He said: “Mentally it’s been really tough at times, but I have good support at home and that’s been something I’m so thankful for.
“Then when I come in to work it can be difficult because I don’t see anything outside, I’m there from 9am till 4pm just giving it my all.
“That’s when the lads seemed to notice a change, they could tell it was getting to me and they knew exactly what to say and how to be with me, and that’s what teammates are for sometimes. They picked me up.”
He added: “The gaffer’s been superb too. He hasn’t put any pressure on my injury, he keeps telling me the same things, to take my time, make sure I approach everything properly and don’t cut corners.”
And for Craig Tanner, the long road back to recovery may be approaching it’s end, but there are no corners in sight on the home stretch.
Wednesday date for Hearts quarter-final
Monday 20 August 2018
Motherwell’s Betfred Cup quarter-final tie with Hearts will be played on Wednesday, 26 September.
Kick off at Tynecastle Park is at 7.45pm. The match is not being televised.
Ticket information will be announced shortly.
Motherwell progressed to the last eight with victory over Livingston at the weekend, while Hearts defeated Dunfermline Athletic away from home.