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  • First team

    Peter Hartley: Team bonding is key

  • First team

    Motherwell v St Mirren live stream available

  • First team

    Manager previews St Mirren visit

  • First team

    Motherwell pair in Northern Ireland squad

  • First team

    Opposition report: A look at St Mirren

  • Club

    Willie Pettigrew to be inducted to Hall of Fame

  • First team

    Liam Donnelly signs extended contract

  • First team

    Next up: St Mirren

  • Club

    Show racism the red card

  • Reserves & Under 18s

    Reserves lose at Dundee United

  • First team

    Peter Hartley: Team bonding is key

    Peter Hartley: Team bonding is key

    On 31 October this year, the streets will be filled with Darth Vaders, Smurfs, witches and zombies marauding across Lanarkshire with the scent of free treats in the air.

    Meanwhile, at Sherwin Seedorf’s gaff, it will smell like team spirit.

    “We do things together,” explains Motherwell captain Peter Hartley. “We had a virtual golf lounge day out, we try to do it at least every six weeks. We’ll have our Christmas do in December, for Hallowe’en we’re all going round to Sherwin’s house for a party. Everyone will go if they can go.”

    There are many things that can make a successful team. Seeing Allan Campbell dressed up like Super Mario may not have been the obvious choice ahead of tactics or fitness, but as long as Motherwell keep riding high in the Scottish Premiership, it’s unlikely Hartley will complain.

    While the Steelmen’s surge in the fledgling stage of the season may have caught those unfamiliar with Well’s formidable progress in the summer months, for the skipper, it is only now he and his team-mates are being recognised for a consistency of performance that has really only been blighted by two defeats – Hearts in the League Cup and the recent sore reverse to Ross County.

    Ahead of the meeting with St Mirren, Hartley says Motherwell’s team bonding and consistency are the cornerstones for a prolonged stay in their current lofty perch.

    “You want to win every game but you know there are teams you need to pick up points against. Rangers and Celtic you need them to have an off day but we feel we are capable of beating anyone here on our day.

    “Even against Celtic I felt we did well at the start. It wasn’t a 5-2 game, in the first half we had Celtic on the ropes and I felt we could have been out of sight.

    “If it wasn’t for the County game it would have been six wins from six. That match included a 10-minute spell when Jake was sent off and then they got the equaliser.

    “I still say the winner was a great goal, you can’t defend against that. You can’t pick faults in it, credit to them. It’s how you respond and we did that at St Johnstone. We had only won there once in 11.

    “Hopefully it will now be two wins in a row going into the international break. We have been working all week to set up a game plan and try and take advantage of their weaknesses. Hopefully that comes to fruition on Saturday.”

    He added: “The spirit we have is phenomenal. I’ve seen two or three teams since I’ve been here and I’ve only been here two and a half years. Louis Moult, Andy Rose, Carl McHugh, Stevie Hammell, Kipre, Aldred, now we are on to a different team. We are more dynamic.

    “It’s a really good grounded group of boys with no egos. We have a good bond and look after each other off the park. A lot of the English boys do things together and as a group we do spend a lot of time together.

    “We also have big characters that wouldn’t let that dressing room go the other way. If it did, three or four wouldn’t let it happen. I’ve been in dressing rooms where those characters don’t exist, and cancer spreads quickly. It won’t ever happen here.”

    Being part of that close-knit dressing room and forging an all-inclusive environment is perhaps something Hartley embraced last season.

    Club captain, for much of Motherwell’s strong run last season he found himself on the bench, watching the group of men he leads perform beyond expectation only to narrowly miss out on a top-six finish.

    The 31-year-old admits it wasn’t “hard” being on the outside looking in, but concedes he knew he would have to take his chance when it arrived to cement his place back in the Motherwell starting XI.

    “I wouldn’t say it was hard. I knew what I needed to do to get back into the team but when you have good players in front of you, you have to wait for your chance. The hardest place was being away from this place. I was putting extra work and hours in but I wasn’t feeling like I was getting anywhere. I’ve been given a chance this season and in the last six games I think we have won five, I’ve played my part.

    “Even though I am 31 there are a lot of things I can improve on. I’m looking at me as a person and a player and trying to make myself the best I can be. The rewards will then be there.

    “I may have been out of sight last season with the fans but I wasn’t in the dressing room. I was not out of mind on the training pitch.

    “It’s the first time that’s happened in my career when I’ve been fully fit, felt like I was training at the top of my game but the door was shut. But that was because I had very good players in front of me. There wasn’t much do apart from wait for my chance.

    “I dealt with it in the right way and the gaffer has said that. I feel like I have been rewarded and that I’ve earned my chance.”

    Now, any Motherwell fan who has supported the team for more than three days will know not to get carried away. After all, as we creep into October we are still not through a full round of fixtures.

    However, the early season form by the Fir Park side has been formidable. Goals are being scored, clean sheets at places like McDiarmid Park being recorded.

    While fans will not quite be dusting down passports just yet, the continued faltering of the likes of Hearts, Hibernian, Aberdeen and Kilmarnock do make this season feel like an open invitation for a team just like Motherwell to grasp the initiative and make the campaign their own.

    “Consistency is the biggest thing in this league, 100,000,000%,” said Hartley.

    “We have a young team so you are going to have ups and downs but it’s then down to me and the senior players to take responsibility to make sure the boys don’t get too down or too high. We just need to have a clear mind and stay level headed.”

    By Scott Mullen, BBC Sport Scotland

  • First team

    Motherwell v St Mirren live stream available

    Motherwell v St Mirren live stream available

    There’s live video and audio available from Motherwell v St Mirren on Saturday.

    We’ve a live stream of the match available to viewers outside of the UK and Ireland for just £12 a month.

    To subscribe and get all Motherwell home matches – and the majority of away games – head to tv.motherwellfc.co.uk now and sign up.

    If you’re in the UK or Ireland and can’t make it, don’t worry. We’ve also got live audio commentary of the match for just £5.99 a month.

    Head to tv.motherwellfc.co.uk to sign up. Just choose the UK/Ireland commentary option.

    2019/20 Motherwell streaming service matches

    DateMatchService available
    5 October 2019Motherwell v St MirrenLive video outside UK/Ireland, audio to all
    19 October 2019Motherwell v AberdeenLive video outside UK/Ireland, audio to all
    27 October 2019Rangers v MotherwellLive audio only
    30 October 2019Motherwell v KilmarnockLive video outside UK/Ireland, audio to all
    2 November 2019Motherwell v LivingstonLive video outside UK/Ireland, audio to all
    10 November 2019Celtic v MotherwellLive video outside UK/Ireland, audio to all
    23 November 2019Hibernian v MotherwellLive video outside UK/Ireland, audio to all
    30 November 2019Motherwell v St JohnstoneLive video outside UK/Ireland, audio to all
    4 December 2019St Mirren v MotherwellLive audio only
    7 December 2019Motherwell v HeartsLive video outside UK/Ireland, audio to all
    15 December 2019Motherwell v RangersLive video outside UK/Ireland, audio to all
    21 December 2019Kilmarnock v MotherwellLive video outside UK/Ireland, audio to all
    26 December 2019Ross County v MotherwellLive audio only
    29 December 2019Motherwell v HamiltonLive video outside UK/Ireland, audio to all
    22 January 2020Aberdeen v MotherwellLive video outside UK/Ireland, audio to all
    25 January 2020Motherwell v HibernianLive video outside UK/Ireland, audio to all
    1 February 2020Livingston v MotherwellLive audio only
    5 February 2020Motherwell v CelticLive video outside UK/Ireland, audio to all
    12 February 2020St Johnstone v MotherwellLive video outside UK/Ireland, audio to all
    15 February 2020Motherwell v St MirrenLive video outside UK/Ireland, audio to all
    22 February 2020Hamilton v MotherwellLive audio only
    4 March 2020Motherwell v Ross CountyLive video outside UK/Ireland, audio to all
    7 March 2020Hearts v MotherwellLive video outside UK/Ireland, audio to all
    14 March 2020Motherwell v AberdeenLive video outside UK/Ireland, audio to all
    21 March 2020Motherwell v KilmarnockLive video outside UK/Ireland, audio to all
    4 April 2020Rangers v MotherwellLive audio only

     

  • First team

    Manager previews St Mirren visit

    Stephen Robinson spoke about being third in the table, the prospect of more to come from the squad, the threat St Mirren pose and Declan Gallagher’s international credentials on Friday.

    Here’s what he had to say to the broadcast media ahead of the match.

    On early season good form

    “It’s early days. We won’t get too carried away with things. It is tempering expectations a little bit.

    “We’ve done great. We’ve started well.Our away form has been really, really good. We’ve had a couple of upsets at home that hopefully we can put right on Saturday.

    “We are going in the right direction. With people I think there’s still more to come in terms of fitness and understanding. And hopefully we will keep improving.

    “I wasn’t too down after the Ross County game. Of course the result dictates everybody’s emotions.

    “We played well against Ross County but people don’t see that. We didn’t play particularly well against St Johnstone and we won. So everybody thinks you’re great.

    “It’s tempering again that emotion and realising  what was still very good about the Ross County game. What we can improve on were the two goals and, with the St Johnstone game, what we can make better.

    “So this week we’ve worked hard. We haven’t taken our foot off the gas because we won a game. We’ve actually worked even harder this week to make sure we are ready to go and well prepared for St Mirren.”

    On players buying into the style

    “They are a really  good group of boys. It’s one of the biggest pre-requests we  have when we sign players, that their attitudes to learning, their desire to work hard and to be as good as they possibly can.

    “It’s free to be as fit as you can, as strong as you can, to try and prevent injuries. All that is free.

    “We do our homework. Some we get right. Some we get wrong. I feel we are getting the vast majority of them right, and it’s shown. It’s shown by the pure commitment to what we’re trying to do tactically or how we press and what we are  trying to do off the ball and on the ball.”

    On facing St Mirren

    “You don’t have the third best defensive record in the league if you’re not hard to break down. I watched Rangers play them away at St Mirren, and they were very difficult to break down.

    “They will sit in, they will make it hard, they’ll hit us on the break. And they’ve got players that can do that. So it’s up to us to try and break them down.

    “Again, I think patience  is going to be the key.People who watch us play know we will have quite a lot of the ball.

    “It’s what we do in that final third. Not everybody coming to the ball. People running in front of the ball, making space for others and sometimes being unselfish is what we’re trying to work on.”

    On Declan Gallagher’s potential to play for Scotland

    “I don’t tell anybody how to do their job. International management is a difficult enough job.

    “Steve Clarke’s got a big pool of players to pick from. Some very, very good players.

    “Declan Gallagher has been fantastic for me. He really has. As a boy. In the changing room. Especially on the pitch. I think he is getting better and better.

    “I think it is only a matter of time before Declan gets picked for Scotland.

    “Steve will be well aware of him. He’s been at our games. Him and his staff will be very aware of Declan.

    “For me, it’s only a matter of time. He just needs to keep doing what he’s doing.”

  • First team

    Motherwell pair in Northern Ireland squad

    Motherwell pair in Northern Ireland squad

    Liam Donnelly and Trevor Carson are in the Northern Ireland squad for matches with the Netherlands and Czech Republic.

    The national side take on the Dutch in Euro 2020 qualifying on 10 October in Rotterdam, before a trip to Prague four days later for a friendly.

    Donnelly earned his second cap for his country in last month’s friendly with Luxembourg, while Carson also featured in the squad.

  • First team

    Opposition report: A look at St Mirren

    Opposition report: A look at St Mirren

    Following on from another summer of managerial change, St Mirren fans seem to be getting much-needed stability under the guidance of Jim Goodwin.

    A hugely popular figure during his time as a player with Saints, Goodwin was lured back to Paisley following on from the departure of Oran Kearney to Coleraine, just one month after guiding the team to Scottish Premiership safety courtesy of a penalty shootout victory over Dundee United.

    The story so far

    The Buddies have kept things tight at the back in the league so far this season. In fact, they have the best defensive record outside of Celtic and Rangers, having conceded six goals in seven games.

    That hasn’t translated too much into results, however, with one win, two draws and four defeats so far putting them 1oth in the division.

    Form guide

    Goodwin’s men have drawn their last two matches 0-0, off the back of three defeats.

    Their last win came at home in August, when Aberdeen were defeated 1-0 in Paisley.

    How they shaped up last time

    St Mirren lined up in a 4-4-2 formation in their 0-0 draw with Hearts last time out. They kept the same starting team from the one that also held Hamilton 0-0 the week previous.

    Three to watch

    Vaclav Hladky

    Czech stopper Vaclav Hladky was a pivotal figure in ensuring St Mirren’s Scottish Premiership safety last term.

    The 28-year-old enjoyed a fantastic first five months in Paisley, highlighted by his display in the Premiership play-off final in which he saved penalties from Peter Pawlett, Paol Safranko and Callum Booth as Dundee United failed to convert a single effort from the spot.

    During the summer Azerbaijani champions Qarabag reportedly bid £200,000 for the keeper, though Saints were able to stave off interest in their highly rated star who is aiming to make it three successive clean sheets this afternoon.

    Kyle McAllister

    After returning to St Mirren on a six-month loan deal in January, Kyle McAllister showed all of the qualities that led to Derby splashing out £225,000 to take the midfielder from Paisley to the Midlands in 2017.

    He scored three times in 12 appearances, including the crucial opener in Saints’ 2-0 victory over Hamilton in their penultimate league fixture.

    In early August, McAllister would return on a permanent basis and has featured in every match since. The draws with Hamilton and Hearts have seen the winger restricted to appearances from the bench, though with goals at a premium for the Buddies, McAllister will be hoping to be unleashed from the start at Fir Park today.

    Kyle Magennis

    Kyle Magennis has shown maturity beyond his 21 years as he’s pulled on the captain’s armband in the absence of Stephen McGinn.

    A graduate of the Saints academy and a Scotland U21 internationalist, Magennis has accumulated 79 appearances so far in black and white scoring nine goals.

    Magennis possesses many attacking qualities, especially his ability to power forward and deliver a dangerous cross or powerful shot, this is shown in his one v one dribbling attempts per match. He currently is third in the Premiership with an average of 10 every game, Sherwin Seedorf is second with 10.23.

  • Club

    Willie Pettigrew to be inducted to Hall of Fame

    Willie Pettigrew to be inducted to Hall of Fame

    Willie Pettigrew is the first inductee in the Motherwell FC Hall of Fame.

    A goal scorer of distinction at the club during the 1970s, Pettigrew netted 20 top-flight goals at the peak of his powers in 1974/75, and 21 more the following campaign.

    His partnership with Bobby Graham brought goals but also international recognition, where he went on to score on his debut for Scotland against Switzerland in April 1976.

    Over 166 appearances for the Steelmen, Pettigrew scored 80 goals and is a deserving first member in our Hall of Fame.

    He will be formally inducted at a dinner at the Bothwell Bridge Hotel on Saturday, 23 November, along with four others.

    Hosted by Tam Cowan, tickets for the event are now on sale online. Adult tickets are £45, with kids tickets £22.

    A fan vote to induct others will be held soon.

  • First team

    Liam Donnelly signs extended contract

    Liam Donnelly signs extended contract

    Liam Donnelly has extended his contract with Motherwell until the summer of 2022.

    The Northern Irishman becomes the first this campaign to commit to the club, after a storming start to the season in claret and amber.

    “I am delighted to have signed a new deal at the club”. Donnelly said. “This season has completely exceeded my expectations.

    “It was my goal to establish myself in the first team, first and foremost. It was also my ambition to get back into the Northern Ireland setup, and to have achieved both so early in the campaign has been fantastic.

    “I’m set now on continuing to improve and contribute to the team.”

    The former Fulham and Hartlepool midfielder has started the season in sensational form, scoring eight goals in 11 games, scooping the July and August player of the month awards in the process.

    His form was rewarded with a recall to the full Northern Ireland squad, where he made his return and earned his second full cap against Luxembourg last month, five years after making his debut against Chile.

    The 23-year-old’s deal was due to expire at the end of 2019/20. His new agreement will take him through to the summer of 2022.

    Manager Stephen Robinson added: “We are delighted Liam has committed to the club for the foreseeable future.

    “Liam has earned the new deal with some very good performances and being rewarded with full international recognition.

    “He will continue to improve in all aspects and he is someone we felt we need to protect as an asset to the football club.

    “By extending his deal, it ensures we continue to build and protect key players in the last year of their contracts.”

  • First team

    Next up: St Mirren

    Next up: St Mirren

    St Mirren are the visitors to Motherwell on Saturday, as the Steelmen chase another win going into the October international break.

    With four wins from their last five matches, Stephen Robinson’s men are looking to keep third place in the Ladbrokes Premiership.

    Kick off at Fir Park on Saturday is at 3pm.

    Tale of the tape

    Motherwell sit on 13 points from seven games in the Ladbrokes Premiership so far.

    Victory over St Johnstone last weekend was the fourth win in five, a run interrupted only by defeat to Ross County in the last match at Fir Park.

    St Mirren sit 10th in the Premiership so far, with one win from their opening seven games.

    Their sole victory came in a 1-0 win over Aberdeen at home in August. Their last two game have ended in goalless draws, both coming at home against Hamilton and Hearts.

    On the road, they’ve lost all three so far at the hands of Hibernian, St Mirren and Livingston.

    Head to head

    Both sides have won two of the last five encounters between the sides, with one draw.

    The last match came at Fir Park in May, with David Turnbull’s opener being cancelled out at the death by Kyle Magennis in a 1-1 draw.

    Motherwell won both games at St Mirren Park last campaign, while the Buddies were 1-0 winners in December at Fir Park.

    Ticket information

    Tickets are available online now or from the Fir Park ticket office. You can also pay at the gate.

    Adult£24 / £20
    Over 60s / 16-18s / Students£17 / £16
    Under 16s£3
    Ticket for one adult plus two under 16s£28 / £24

    The cheaper price is for our John Hunter stand only.

    Fans who require ambulant or wheelchair access should contact Andy Sim on 07428 225254 or email tickets@mfcdsa.com.

    Can’t make it? Watch or listen live

    If you’re outside the UK/Ireland, you can watch Motherwell v St Mirren and the majority of our Ladbrokes Premiership games this season on our live streaming service.

    Priced at £12 a month, just head to tv.motherwellfc.co.uk to subscribe.

    Wherever you are, there’s also live audio commentary available on our streaming service for £5.99 a month.

    Match officials

    John Beaton is the man in the middle for the match, assisted by Calum Spence, Gordon Crawford and Colin Steven.

  • Club

    Show racism the red card

    Show racism the red card

    Motherwell Football Club are supporting Show Racism the Red Card’s fortnight of action.

    The campaign, which runs from 4-20 October, has been running in Scotland for 16 years. Our support underlines our joint commitment across the sport at the highest level of Scottish football to eradicate racism and discrimination of any form from our game.

    We will also show our support at our game with St Mirren on Saturday, 5 October, joining our fellow clubs in calling for an end to racism in football and society. Players in over 40 European countries will also be involved in similar events.

    We urge fans to continue to support the anti-racism message. It is the responsibility of us all to ensure that it is carried out beyond this fortnight and beyond football.

    Motherwell Football Club condemns all forms of racism. Racist behaviour will not be tolerated within the club.

    Show Racism the Red Card are working within grassroots football, community groups, schools, the police and prison service to ensure that going forward, Scottish society and Scottish football is fair, inclusive and accessible for all.

    Football is a sport that is followed by people across the world and football matches should be an enjoyable experience for all, whatever their background. We all have a part to play in challenging racism in football and society.

    You can follow Show Racism the Red Card on Twitter @SRtRCScotland, on Facebook or at their website at theredcard.org.

  • Reserves & Under 18s

    Reserves lose at Dundee United

    Reserves lose at Dundee United

    A youthful Motherwell reserve side lost out 4-1 at Dundee United in the Reserve League on Monday.

    Maurice Ross’ side acquitted themselves well but the experience in the ranks of the hosts ultimately told.

    A double for Cammy Smith, and further goals for Louis Appere and Darren Watson, were enough to overcome the visitors, who netted at 3-0 through Jamie Semple’s long-range effort.

    Motherwell took time to get into the game and were punished with 22 minutes on the clock. A headed clearance by Sam Muir didn’t have much distance, and Smith did well to crash a volley home from 20 yards.

    Hale and Manzinga both had chances soon after, before the hosts doubled their advantage on the half-hour mark..

    With calls for offside from the ‘Well defence, Appere got in behind and netted, despite PJ Morrison getting something on it.

    MacIver and Manzinga again had chances in the first period before with the latter also had a succession of efforts kept out early in the second 45.

    The striker had the ball in the net during a long spell of Motherwell dominance, but his steered effort from Cornelius’ shot came with him in an offside position.

    United would get another on the counter against the run of play in the 58th minute. Smith found room and although his initial shot was saved, he turned in the rebound past Morrison.

    The Steelmen got the goal their play deserved with 25 minutes remaining. Semple found room from 25 yards and crashed a shot off the crossbar and over the line.

    Sensing the chance to get a foothold back in the game, Well continued to push. But they were to be undone on the counter when the trialist defender hauled down Watson in the area.

    The substitute forward picked himself up to fire home the penalty with 10 minutes left.

    Motherwell: Morrison, Cornelius, Muir, Trialist, Brown, Semple (McGuigan), Kettings, Hale, MacIver, Starrs (McSwegan), Manzinga.

    Subs not used: Connolly.