Dean Cornelius has signed a new contract with Motherwell FC until the summer of 2021.
The youth academy graduate, who made his first team debut in May, has extended his deal for another season.
“Dean has a real chance to push on and fight for a first team place in the coming years,” manager Stephen Robinson said.
“We’ll continue to work hard with him every day to develop him as a player.”
Cornelius, 18, played 12 minutes in the final game of the 2018/19 season against Livingston at Fir Park, marking his first appearance for the club.
“It means everything to me to play for Motherwell,” he said on signing the new deal. “It was a big moment to make my debut last year and I’m keen to keep working for more opportunities.
“I’m continuing to learn every single day with the coaching staff at the club and I’m committed to giving myself the chance to break through to the first team.”
Opposition Report: A look at Rangers
Friday 13 December 2019
Rangers are the visitors to Fir Park on Sunday in a televised Ladbrokes Premiership victory.
Steven Gerrard’s side were pushed all the way at Ibrox in the first meeting between the two sides earlier in the season, eventually winning 2-1 through a late set play.
The story so far
Two points off the top of the Ladbrokes Premiership, Rangers are pushing all the way to end Celtic’s dominance over the title.
A long run of wins earlier in the campaign – with 23 victories from 33 competitive games so far – has showcased their ability to challenge at the top, even if recent form has taken a minor dip.
The last five games, on paper, suggest a downturn in fortunes. With one win, three draws and one defeat, it’s a dip compared to five wins in the previous block.
But for context, two draws have come in Europe, including the hugely impressive 2-2 draw at Feyenoord. A 2-2 draw at Aberdeen was the first blip the Glasgow side properly encountered on league business, while the defeat came in the Betfred Cup final after a strong attacking performance.
Three to watch
Over the past year, Ryan Jack has developed into one of the most influential and consistent performers in the Rangers team.
After his excellent showing in Rangers’ 4-0 win at Ross County at the end of October, Steven Gerrard hailed Jack as a real leader and emphasised he was a great example for the rest of the Rangers squad.
In recent weeks the midfielder has started to address what could be described as a glaring omission from his game – contributing four goals in his last four Scottish Premiership appearances.
The £7m deadline-day signing of Ryan Kent from Liverpool was seen as a big statement of intent ahead of Rangers’ attempts to deny Celtic their ninth successive league title.
Kent enjoyed an excellent season on loan at Ibrox last season, making 43 appearances and scoring six goals. He ended the campaign by winning the Scottish PFA Young Player of the Year Award and was also nominated for the main award too.
An injury sustained in his first match since making his move to Glasgow a permanent one ruled him out of action for a month, though on his return the Oldham-born winger has shown the qualities that helped him firmly establish himself as a fan favourite in his first year with the club – most notably netting a double in the 3-1 success at Hamilton.
Last Sunday may have been a day to forget for Alfredo Morelos, but it should take little away from what has been a storming first half of the season for the Colombian striker.
The 23-year-old missed a hatful of gilt-edged chances and from the penalty spot as his record of never having netted against Celtic continued. But it still demonstrated his new found maturity this term, alongside his relentless movement, power and a killer touch in front of goal.
Morelos has been prolific in front of goal both in domestic and European competition this season. He has found the net on 25 occasions in 31 appearances to close in on Marco Negri’s record of 33 goals before the New Year.
Motherwell will kick off the 2020 Scottish Women’s Premier League season at Forfar Farmington.
After securing top-flight status last campaign after promotion the season prior, Station Park will be the first venue of the new year on Sunday, 23 February.
A home match with Hibernian will then follow on Sunday, 15 March at Ravenscraig.
‘We need everyone at the top of their game’
Friday 13 December 2019
Stephen Robinson spoke about form, past performances and managing expectations ahead of the visit of Rangers to Fir Park on Sunday.
Here’s what he said to the broadcast media.
On facing Rangers
“It’s a fantastic game to be involved in. I say every time we play these big games, it’s why you’re in football.
“There will be a big atmosphere. Big crowd. Live on TV. Against a very, very good Rangers side.”
On Rangers playing in Europe on Thursday night
“I don’t think there’s any advantage. When you look at the level of players Rangers have and the players they have on their bench that can possibly come in. Defoe replacing Morelos or vice versa. They’ve got that all over the pitch.
“That’s why they are where they are and doing so well in Europe. So no, there will be no European hangover, no matter what.”
On a good performance at Ibrox last time out
“I think we played very well. I think we were set up well. The boys carried out what we wanted.
“We played a little bit on the counter attack, which isn’t how we usually play. We press high. We have a real high energy to our game. So you need a little bit of a mix against Rangers.
“They’re going to dominate possession at times. We need everybody on the top of their game on the day. And if we get that and we have people playing at the top of their game, then you never know.
“I think it’s different every game. It depends on the availability of players and it depends where you are.
“We went through to Rangers last time on the back of a defeat. We’re going into the game on Sunday on three wins and having not conceded a goal.
“We know that it’s a level up again. But we’re doing a lot of things right.
“How we play doesn’t really change. Systems don’t really change your principles and what we’re trying to do. We’ll continue to try and take the game to people.
I think the level of disappointment in the dressing room showed maybe how far we’ve come. No matter what they say in the press and how much they talk about they believe they can go and do things, actually going to Ibrox and challenging Rangers and putting on a good performance.
Ultimately we lost the game. You know you’ve got to remember that we lost the game. But we lost to a set play, which was the biggest disappointment.
“We had I think 11 players right at the top of their game on that day. So make no mistake. We need 11 players, maybe more when subs are made, to be right at the very top level of their game to get a result.”
On keeping feet on the ground after three straight wins
“I think sometimes after a result you can get carried away and we make sure we don’t.
“We analyse it and I genuinely believe there’s probably 80-90% of the players here can improve again. I believe there’s another percentage in every player.
“Decision making. How we press at times. I think everybody can get better at it. And that’s everybody. The staff, we’re all looking to improve. All the time.
“If you ever rest on your laurels, I think you stand still.
“With the age of this squad, the young boys who are up and down like yo-yos. I take James Scott. He was superb against St Mirren but wasn’t brilliant on Saturday.
“But he still tried to do the right things, still tried to get in the right areas and take people on. Those wide players will be up and down. If we can get even more consistency to our game, I think we’ll improve even more.
“We’ve got a level of consistency now when before perhaps we were a little bit more up and down. Bevis coming in when Peter was ill. He came in the Celtic game and he was excellent. And it gives me a real problem. But a good problem.
“We have got a wee bit of strength in depth. We’ve not got a huge squad, but the quality that we do have, with our younger players as well, we have a real belief in whoever comes in will do a job to the same standard.”
Buy your Rangers tickets early
Tuesday 10 December 2019
Fans are urged to pre-purchase their tickets for Sunday’s Ladbrokes Premiership match with Rangers.
To avoid queues on the day, you can buy online now and get home delivery on purchases made before 4pm on Wednesday.
You can also print your ticket at home and take it straight to the gate, or order for collection at Fir Park.
There will be no cash gates in operation at Fir Park on Sunday.
Our ticket office at the stadium is open from 9am to 5pm Wednesday and Thursday, from 9am to 4pm on Friday, from 10am to 12pm on Saturday and from 10am until kick off at 12pm on Sunday.
Online purchases can be made for collection until 11am on Sunday. Rangers supporters should buy from their club directly.
£30 / £23
Over 60s / 16-18s / full-time students
£21 / £19
One adult and two kids
£34 / £27
Cheaper price applies to John Hunter stand for home supporters.
Donate to Mission Christmas
Tuesday 10 December 2019
There are children living in our community who could wake up to having no presents on Christmas Day.
For some families, Christmas is a luxury they just can’t afford. We want to make it different for local children living in poverty.
We’re working with Bauer Media on Mission Christmas and we’re asking you to make a donation or raise funds.
Mission Christmas is back to make this Christmas Day different for local children living in poverty.
Every penny raised stays local, with 100% of what we receive being given back out. Your generosity will directly benefit children living in our area.
To donate, text CLYDE to 70905 (£5), 70910 (£10) or 70920 (£20).
Alternatively, if you would like to donate any new and unwrapped gifts, there is a drop-off point at the Motherwell FC Community Trust offices in the Cooper Stand at Fir Park available Monday to Friday between 9am and 3pm.
Grab a hospitality deal for Rangers visit
Monday 09 December 2019
We’ve a great last-minute deal to watch Motherwell v Rangers from the warmth of one of our Cooper boxes.
Come and enjoy drinks before the game, as well as food at half-time, before taking in the match from behind the glass.
View the match from the comfort of one of our boxes at the top of the Davie Cooper Stand, a unique vantage point to take in the action.
With access to the Cooper Bar before and after the match, and half-time refreshments, tea, coffee, pies and cakes, our deal is available for £70 per person.
If you’re a season ticket holder, you can upgrade for £50 per person.
The dress code for all areas is smart, with no jeans, trainers or colours. To book, please phone our hospitality team on 01698 338012 or book online at tickets.motherwellfc.co.uk.
Alternatively, enjoy hot snacks with half-time refreshments with main stand seating for £130 per person. You can also upgrade to an inclusive bar one hour before and one hour following the match for an additional £30.
Rangers are the next visitors to Fir Park in the Ladbrokes Premiership on Sunday, 15 December.
Kick-off at Fir Park is at 12pm.
Tale of the tape
It’s third versus second in the division, with the Steelmen seven points behind Steven Gerrard’s side going into the match.
Rangers have been joint top for most of the campaign, but a 2-2 draw in their last outing at Aberdeen, paired with Celtic’s win over Hamilton Academical, meant they slipped two points off the pace.
Defeat in the Betfred Cup final to Celtic on Sunday comes before an all-or-nothing UEFA Europa League match at home to Young Boys on Thursday night.
Motherwell have won three, scored eight and conceded none in their last three matches.
A 4-0 win over St Johnstone was followed by a 3-0 victory at St Mirren, and then a 1-0 success at home to Hearts on Saturday.
Head to head
Rangers were 2-1 winners at Ibrox earlier in the campaign, recovering from a goal down after Devante Cole’s early strike.
Of the last five league fixtures at Fir Park between the pair, Rangers have won three, with two high-scoring draws making up the other results.
You have to go back to 2002 for the last time the Steelmen prevailed in the league against the Ibrox side, with a 1-0 win on Boxing Day coming through James McFadden’s goal, which ended their opponents’ eight-month unbeaten run in the top flight.