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  • First team

    Headlines from Keith Lasley’s press conference

  • First team

    Cadden and Campbell get Scotland Under 21 call

  • First team

    Story of the Match from Hearts cup loss

  • Women

    Canavan to miss title celebrations

  • First team

    Setting the scene for the trip to Kilmarnock

  • First team

    In numbers: Taking on Kilmarnock away

  • First team

    Watch highlights from Hearts cup defeat

  • First team

    Players react to cup exit

  • First team

    Robinson reflects on Hearts defeat

  • First team

    Hearts 4 – 2 Motherwell

  • First team

    Headlines from Keith Lasley’s press conference

    Keith Lasley spoke to the broadcast media ahead of the Ladbrokes Premiership clash with Kilmarnock at the weekend.

    Here’s what the assistant manager had to say.

    ON WHAT THE TEAM CAN TAKE FROM WEDNESDAY NIGHT’S PERFORMANCE

    “We felt a lot went right in the game for a start. Obviously the result is ultimately what you have to get in cup football and we managed that last season, more often than not, but not on Wednesday. What we will take from the match is the overall performance, there was a lot of good things: the energy, drive, determination and desire and some good play amongst it as well.

    “When you look at the overall picture, there was a lot of good in it. It’s an obvious cliché about ways to win a match, but conversely, there’s also ways to lose a match and for us, as much as the result is hard to take, we thought we put a lot into it and there’s a great deal we can take out it.

    “We’ve got to move on now, that’s football and we wish Hearts luck in the rest of the tournament, they’re a good side. We are now fully focused on Kilmarnock now and taking a lot of elements of our performance from Wednesday into this weekend.”

    ON WHETHER OR NOT THERE WAS A SENSE THE TEAM HAD GOT BACK TO WHAT THEY WERE RENOWNED FOR LAST SEASON

    “Last season we worked hard at trying to create an identity where the team would show that energy and all the words I used previously in terms of drive, determination and good play in the right areas and I think a lot of that was there on Wednesday.

    “We need to try and kick on now. The season is still early enough where we can still mould our own patch whichever way we choose, as long as we work hard enough and perform the way we can. It’s up to us to do that and show that now.

    “As I’ve said, Wednesday was a disappointment as we had such success in the cups last year, but it’s still early in the campaign and still another cup to go and play in when that comes around and we’re confident we can still go on and have a decent season.”

    ON WHAT SORT OF TEST KILMARNOCK WILL POSE

    “A massive test. I don’t think there’s much to add to the conversation about how good a job Steve Clarke’s done, it’s all been said. He really has turned the club around and I seen a stat the other day on social media that showed them top of the table when it comes to the 2018 calendar year. That’s a perfect indication of the job he’s done.

    “It’s obviously down at there place and it’ll be a tough test for us. I was there watching their match with Celtic last weekend which they deservedly won, so we know what we’re up against – a group of players who have a real spirit amongst them, a great work ethic and some really talented individuals.

    That all being said, it’s about us and what we do. Our focus over the last two days has been very much on that going into the match.”

    ON THE DECISION TO PLAY BOTH BETFRED CUP SEMI FINALS AT HAMPDEN PARK ON THE SAME DAY

    “I’ve got to say I was surprised, that was my first reaction, certainly from a security point of view, and a logistical one in terms of turning the stadium around. Obviously I have no expertise in those areas, obviously, but if they feel they can do it and I am sure BT Sport will package it well on the television.

    It’s two good semi-finals and hopefully it can showcase Scottish football, but I have to say, I was surprised about it. Hopefully it works out, although we’re just upset we’re not going to be part of it as I am sure it’ll be an exciting day.”

    ON WHETHER A RUN OF DEFEATS HAS IMPACTED THE BELIEF IN THE DRESSING ROOM

    “Not at all, it’s still early and we still have it within our power to mould the season whatever way we want in terms of our own performances. It’s up to us to get results to back that up now as we are well aware it’s a results driven business.

    “However, last Wednesday has convinced everyone that we’re capable of performing to that standard and we believe if we play like that we’ll win more games of football than we’ll lose and that’s what we’ll look to show on Saturday.

    “So whilst we were hugely disappointed to lose, there were a lot of elements we were happy with and it’s now up to continue that level, but also getting results. We want to get up the table and give ourselves a chance of pushing on and having a good season.”

    ON GETTING BOWMAN AND MAIN TOGETHER ON THE SAME PITCH

    “We’ve had a few niggles and injuries that have impacted us from the start of the season and have held certain guys back – that said, I am sure a lot of clubs could say the same. When we have got everyone available, particularly in the striking area, we feel as if we have combinations up there that can cause teams some problems and one of them is Main and Bowman, who on their day are a real handful for anyone.

    “I think they proved last season and hopefully, when we get them both up to full fitness and niggle free, we hope they can again go on to show their worth and how much of a handful they actually are. Wednesday showed some good signs of that and in the coming weeks, we hope we can improve on that even more.”

    ON OTHER TEAM NEWS

    “We’ve got late decisions to make on Andy Rose and Peter Hartley. Andy trained Friday so that will be a late check. Charles Dunne is still a little bit away but he’s on the pitch again, which is a great to see him back.

    “Craig Tanner had to have another operation and I believe everything has gone well with that. It was obviously a very serious injury at the time and with this setback, he’s still going to be a little bit of time away.

    “That said, things went well with the latest surgery and with the determination he has, I am sure he’ll be back as soon as he can and when he does, it’ll be a big boost for us.”

  • First team

    Cadden and Campbell get Scotland Under 21 call

    Cadden and Campbell get Scotland Under 21 call

    Chris Cadden and Allan Campbell are in Scotland’s Under 21 squad for their next 2019 European Championship qualifiers.

    The pair, regulars in Scot Gemmill’s squad, will face Ukraine and England on 12 and 16 October respectively.

    Cadden, who also has full international honours, has been capped 10 times at Under 21 level, while Campbell has 11 caps.

    The young Scots still have a chance of reaching either top spot or second in their group, with four of the nine runners-up automatically qualifying for the tournament.

    The Ukraine match will be played in Kiev, before the Auld Enemy clash with England goes ahead at Tynecastle Park.

  • First team

    Story of the Match from Hearts cup loss

    Looking for a hat-trick of cup semi-final visits to Hampden, Motherwell travelled to face in-form Hearts in the last eight of the Betfred Cup.

    This is the Story of the Match.

  • Women

    Canavan to miss title celebrations

    Canavan to miss title celebrations

    Kaitlyn Canavan is gutted to be missing out on the celebrations as Motherwell lift the SWPL2 title on Sunday.

    The 17-year-old will join up with Northern Ireland’s Under 19 side on Saturday, ahead of their triple header against Estonia, Kosovo and Germany.

    While she’ll have to wait to pick her up her league winners medal, Canavan is determined to make an impact on the international stage in what is set to be a busy week for the ‘Well forward.

    “It would have been nice to have been a part of the title celebrations, but it’s a huge honour to be part of the Northern Ireland squad,” Canavan said. “We have three games in six days and I really want to make the most of the opportunity.

    “Sunday will be a great day for everyone involved with Motherwell, everyone has worked so hard and deserves to get their hands on the trophy.”

    After a tireless shift in the women of steel’s 1-0 SSE Scottish Cup win over St Johnstone, Canavan played the full 90 minutes in last weekend’s 4-0 success at Aberdeen.

    At times patience has been key for the youngster, but she has now set her sights on an extended run in the team.

    “I feel for me this has been my best season playing football, the coaches and players who have come in have taught me so much,” she added. “Personally, I feel as player I’ve progressed and as a team it’s been great to have achieved as much as we have.”

    “My season has really kicked on in the last few weeks, that gives me confidence – I’m improving and learning every time I play.

    “Donald [Jennow] and Eddie [former boss, Wolecki Black] have played a massive part in my development, their experience has been vital and that’s shown in our results on the park too.”

    Motherwell host Hearts at Braidhurst on Sunday prior to the trophy presentation.

    It’s sure to be a special day for all involved with the team and also represents a final competitive fixture for Donald Jennow’s side ahead of their Scottish Cup semi final clash with Spartans on 14 October.

    With fierce competition for places throughout the squad and the team chasing a record SWPL2 points tally, Canavan is certain there will be no dip in standards.

    “If we keep the standards high then I see no reason why we can’t keep our winning streak going,” she said.

    “It won’t be an easy game against Hearts and we’ll need to fight for the three points, but everyone is determined to lift the title on a high.

    “We know preparation is the main thing going into a semi final against a top league team. If we play the way we know we can, then I see no reason why we can’t challenge Spartans.

    “It will be another big day for the team and we really hope the fans can get along to Stirling and get behind us.

    “We’re all in this together and the more support we can get along the better.”

  • First team

    Setting the scene for the trip to Kilmarnock

    Setting the scene for the trip to Kilmarnock

    Kilmarnock are next up for the Steelmen, as Stephen Robinson’s men look to bounce back from the disappointment of exiting the Betfred Cup at the quarter-final stage.

    Let’s set the scene for the return to Ladbrokes Premiership action.

    Contrasting fortunes

    Motherwell put in a fighting performance against Hearts in midweek, before being hit with two late goals at Tynecastle to bow out the cup.

    The display from Stephen Robinson’s men showed the sort of character and determination commonly associated with the team and will provide encouragement for the trip to Ayrshire.

    Kilmarnock have had a mixed campaign so far in 2018/19, but their comeback, last-minute 2-1 win over Celtic last weekend will undoubtedly spur them on.

    Score first to win?

    Of the last three outings between the two sides, the team that has scored first has gone on to win the game with a clean sheet.

    Kilmarnock won the last two games by one goal to nil, while the Steelmen picked up a 2-0 victory earlier in 2017/18 at Fir Park.

    The last game in which both teams have scored came in May 2017, as Motherwell won 3-1 at home.

    Sharing the spoils

    On league duty this season, neither team has a player who has netted more than twice. Instead, the goals have been largely shared out.

    For Killie, Eamonn Brophy and Greg Stewart both have two strikes to their name, with Scott Boyd, Chris Burke and Stuart Findlay netting one.

    Saturday’s visitors currently have Danny Johnson on two goals, with Carl McHugh, Gaël Bigirimana, Alan Campbell and Peter Hartley all on one.

  • First team

    In numbers: Taking on Kilmarnock away

    In numbers: Taking on Kilmarnock away

    Motherwell return to league business on Saturday with a trip to face Kilmarnock on Saturday.

    Here’s the game previewed in numbers.

    Six

    The number of times Motherwell have emerged victorious from their last 10 trips to take on Killie.

    The Ayrshire men won the only outing at Rugby Park in the 2017/18 campaign, with Scott Boyd’s header the difference in a 1-0 victory.

    Six

    Six is also the number of points separating the two sides going into Saturday’s match.

    Kilmarnock have 10 points from six games so far in the 2018/19 season, compared to Motherwell’s four. Wins over Celtic, Aberdeen and St Johnstone, as well as a draw with Livingston, have been their results so far.

    22

    Of the last 10 games played between the two clubs at Rugby Park, a total of 22 goals have been scored.

    Those goals have been equally shared between the sides, each netting 11 each.

    90

    The minute in which Stuart Findlay struck against Celtic last weekend to secure a 2-1 win over Celtic that will live long in the memory of Kilmarnock fans.

    After a run of two home defeats at the hands of Hearts and Rangers, Clarke’s men came from behind to stun the Scottish champions.

  • First team

    Watch highlights from Hearts cup defeat

    Motherwell put in a fighting performance but were undone by a late double from Hearts, exiting the Betfred Cup at the quarter-final stage in the process.

    Curtis Main and Ryan Bowman netted for the Steelmen, but Steven MacLean, Peter Haring, Olly Lee and Steven Naismith scored for the Ladbrokes Premiership leaders.

  • First team

    Players react to cup exit

    Liam Grimshaw, Ryan Bowman and Curtis Main react after the 4-2 quarter final defeat against Hearts. 

    Despite a resilient showing in the capital, the Steelmen were knocked out of the competition they finished runners-up in last term.

    Grimshaw said: “Coming to a place like Tynecastle and going up against a team in the form Hearts are in was going to be tough. We took them all the way though, but it just wasn’t to be.”

  • First team

    Robinson reflects on Hearts defeat

    Stephen Robinson praised the spirit of his side as they fell just short of another trip to Hampden. 

    The Steelmen produced a solid display against an in-form Hearts side, but were stung late on in Edinburgh as they pushed for a winning goal.

    And the manager, despite being dejected in defeat, made sure to praise his team and their efforts as he suffered just his third loss in cup competition.

    “I asked for a performance tonight,” he said. “We showed resolve but we need to cut out the individual mistakes.

    “Hearts are a good side and they are clinical up front.”

  • First team

    Hearts 4 – 2 Motherwell

    Hearts 4 – 2 Motherwell

    Motherwell put in a fighting performance against Hearts in the quarter-final of the Betfred Cup but were stung by a late, late show.

    Curtis Main and Ryan Bowman scored for the Steelmen but came unstuck as Steven MacLean, Peter Haring, Olly Lee and Steven Naismith netted for the Jam Tarts.

    Motherwell started with ferocious intent, harassing their opponents and snapping into challenges with an intensity that was the hallmark of their cup performances last campaign.

    They got their reward with just 10 minutes on the clock. Bigirimana’s drilled free-kick from left to right was met by the head of McHugh at the back stick. But his ball across goal was handballed by Dunne, leaving Willie Collum with no hesitation in pointing to the spot.

    After a short spell out the team injured, it fell to Main to mark his return to the team by sending Zlamal the wrong way with an assured penalty to fire the Steelmen into the lead.

    The game roared from end to end, as both sides flew through the midfield at pace to build attacks.

    Hearts had the next biggest chance to get on the scoresheet on the half hour mark. Smith’s dangerous low cross from the right fizzed across goal, but MacLean’s poked effort at the near post spun over.

    Motherwell immediately went up the other end. Main found room inside the box wide on the left, deciding to shoot instead of squaring to Bowman. That sent the goalkeeper sprawling and he just clawed it away, before Bowman went down after claiming to be pushed in the back as he tried to nod home the second.

    It would be a concentration lapse that would cause the equaliser. Bigirimana tried to play his way out in his own box and surrendered the ball, allowing Smith the chance to cross.

    Djoum met the header at the left post, nodding it back across goal for MacLean to steer home the equaliser from close range.

    Motherwell were seeing plenty of the ball but the hosts were looking deadly on the counter, pounding the area with cross balls for the strikers to get on the end of. Naismith was the next beneficiary as the first half wore to a close, his header from close range sailing thankfully over the crossbar.

    Spurred on again, the visitors raced up the other end and Cadden put a ball in from the right for Main, who just steered his header past the post.

    After a pause for breath, the second half got off in similar fashion, with Hearts having a succession of headed chances and Motherwell looking to press their opponents off the ball high up the pitch to engineer an opportunity.

    The resistance would finally break. After being bombarded with cross balls, Souttar’s volleyed drive across goal from right to left was met by Haring at the back post to slide in Hearts’ second.

    Motherwell threw on Frear and Johnson as they tried to fight their way back into the game, effectively playing a front four alongside Main and Bowman.

    Then, in a moment of magic, Stephen Robinson’s men found the leveller.

    Chasing the ball into the channel, Bowman unleashed a spectacular half volley from 25 yards which dipped into the far left corner of the net to spark wild scenes in the away end.

    As the Steelmen pushed and pushed for the winner, the sucker punch came with two minutes to spare. Another cross from the right was met by the free Olly Lee to steer the ball into the left side of the net.

    Throwing everything forward Motherwell had a succession of corners as Hearts desperately clung onto the lead but Naismith would then net on the counter to put the game beyond doubt.