Allan Campbell scored the goal as Motherwell recorded their first league win of the 2020/21 season.
- First team
Highlights as Motherwell beat St JohnstoneSunday 13 September 2020
- First team
‘We showed the desire to win’Saturday 12 September 2020
“It comes down to a desire to win football matches in both boxes. We showed that in abundance today.”
Stephen Robinson reacts to the win over St Johnstone, which brought Motherwell’s first three points of the 2020/21 season.
- First team
Motherwell 1-0 St JohnstoneSaturday 12 September 2020
Motherwell claimed their first three points with a 1-0 home win over St Johnstone.
It was far from a pretty performance but Allan Campbell’s fourth minute goal earned the win.
The Fir Park boss also asked his players to show add a bit more mettle to their game and the Steelmen responded with a hard working shift to protect that slender lead for over 86 minutes.
Robinson made two changes from his side’s last league outing at Celtic Park. Nathan McGinley, returned from injury to make his home debut on the left side of a back five. The ‘Well boss paired Tony Watt with Calum Lang, leaving Christopher Long among the nine substitutes.
However, it was Campbell, having scored a stunning late winner for Scotland Under 21 side in midweek, that netted within the opening four minutes.
Bevis Mugabi punted the ball forward and when it landed between Lang and Campbell the midfield man took possession, carrying the ball 20 yards towards the Saints box before planting the ball low beyond the diving Elliot Parish and give the Fir Park men the perfect start.
The home side’s work rate and quick movement off the ball caught Saints players off guard in the early stages.
As the Perth men found their feet they were almost gifted an equaliser after 19 minutes. Indecision on the left between McGinley and Ricki Lamie allowed Michael O’Halloran to nip in and steer his shot into the side netting.
With both defences looking comfortable, neither ‘keeper was tested and Parish’s only task was to hold a Liam Polworth free kick which sailed over everyone’s head.
At the other end, Trevor Carson was comfortably using both feet to build play from the back. Ten minutes from half-time when he had to finally use his hands routinely holding a delicate chip from David Wotherspoon which was drifting under his crossbar.
While both sets of players were comfortable in possession neither side was capable of producing the decisive pass to stretch defences as the first half ended devoid of any goalmouth after Campbell’s early goal.
Something was required to lift the game and as Saints realised they were trailing by a goal, showed a bit more enterprise from the start of the second half.
In the 50th minute Craig Conway’s corner into a packed box found Jason Kerr, who powered a header narrowly over the bar.
A few minutes later Callum Davidson freshened up his attack sending on experienced strikers Chris Kane and Stevie May.
It was ‘Well who came close, though, after Campbell worked hard to earn a free kick wide on the left. This time Polworth elected to test the ‘keeper with a curling effort which Parish moved high to his left to push behind for a corner.
The home goal had a narrow escape when a Lamie’s slip gave May possession at the corner of the six yard box but with Carson at his mercy the Saints’ striker pulled the ball across the goal and just outside the far post.
After 68 minutes, Jordan White replaced Watt who had tirelessly dragged himself all over the final third of the pitch in an attempt to get ‘Well a second goal.
His replacement took less that 90 seconds for his first attempt at goal, but with Lang’s cross drifting behind him White could only volley the ball over the bar from 14 yards.
Eight minutes from time a clash of heads between White and Jamie McCart left both players needing treatment, the ‘Well striker heavily bandaged and resulted in eight minutes added time.
At that point White received another bump on the head and Long took his place but play was still largely contained to the middle of the park.
In the final minute of that lengthy added time Saints almost claimed the equaliser they probably deserved but Conway’s 20 yard drive was straight at the waiting Carson.
- First team
Bevis Mugabi seizing his chance to shineFriday 11 September 2020
The past month or so has been a bittersweet one for Bevis Mugabi.
The Ugandan international has finally cemented a place in Stephen Robinson’s Motherwell side after a stop-start maiden campaign in Lanarkshire.
As part of a back three, he has looked just the player Robinson hoped he would be when he was snapped up from Yeovil Town last term.
However, he acknowledges that while his own outlook has perked up, the current viewpoint for the club looking up from the foot of the Scottish Premiership table is not good on the eye.
It is fair to say the 12th-placed position in the league is not a reflection on Mugabi, who has been one of the best performers in claret and amber during a tumultuous start to the season.
However, the 25-year-old is keen to help put things right.
“It’s nice for a change,” he said. “Last season I was I and out and couldn’t get a run. I feel that I’m performing well enough to stay in the team.
“I’m just going to keep working hard to stay in there. I’m doing extra work to make sure I try and keep my place.
“I don’t mind playing in a back three or a back four. It’s good I can play in both, it’s an extra string to my bow. As long as I’m in the team and doing my best for Motherwell, then that’s all that matters.
“It’s a bit of a sticky situation with us not winning a league game yet. I feel that it’s going to come.
“We’ve been dominating games, we haven’t performed badly, it’s just at the end of the day you need to put the ball in the back of the net.
“With the quality of strikers we have and the amount of chances we create, I know it’s going to click soon.”
Mugabi and pals have already demonstrated that, when that click happens, they can blow teams away.
In the UEFA Europa League qualifier versus Glentoran, a blistering second half annihilated the Northern Irish outfit, who albeit were down to 10 men.
A difficult afternoon at Celtic Park followed, but a 3-0 defeat at the hands of the champions has thankfully not diverted Motherwell from the upward trajectory carved out against the Glens.
“That happened against Glentoran. It gave us a lot of confidence,” said Mugabi, who is relishing the prospect of a second-round date away to Coleraine next week.
“As soon as we got the first goal the game was pretty much done. You could see the score line at the end it was an excellent result, and that gives you confidence. We will be taking that into the next European tie.
“It’s going to be another tough test again. It’ll be quite similar I imagine, we just need to make sure we do the job and make sure we are on that flight to either Israel or Albania.
“I think we can take plenty from the Glentoran game to help us play Coleraine in the next round. Obviously they both play in the same league.
“They are hard working boys, they’ll be fighting for every second ball and they’ll put their bodies on the line.
“We need to be patient, play our game and try to wear them down. It’s all about being patient.
“You can’t score every time, you just need to manage the game and go there with the correct mentality.
“If we do that and stick to our plan, we will be fine.”
It may have taken Mugabi time to feel like home regularly on the pitch, but he admits that, even despite lockdown, Lanarkshire life has suited him.
The man from Harrow spent most of lockdown back home in London with his family, and he is grateful for those precious moments as his focus is now fixed on football once more.
“I’ve enjoyed it here. I’ve not really done much exploring. I thought after lockdown I’d do a bit more, it’s part of my life being in a different country and I want to get out and about.
“But at the same time I know this isn’t a holiday. I’m here to do a job and play football.
“It’s also not the easiest to get out and about at the moment. Hopefully Lanarkshire doesn’t go into lockdown again and we can all stay safe.
“Thankfully I managed to get down to my family before lockdown came in. I’m up here myself but when we knew the Aberdeen game was going to be off in March I went to London straight away. It was two and a half months I was down there.
“It was great to be with the family. It was a bit difficult, but at the same time it was a blessing. As a footballer, you are never ever going to have that one-to-one time with the family. We will never get it again so you had to make the most of it.”
Looking ahead to the match against St Johnstone and the task of Motherwell cleaving out their first league win of the campaign, Mugabi added: “We just want Saturday to be here. We are back refreshed and ready to work. Nobody wants the club to be where it is in the table but we are sure the results will come.
“It will make a huge difference when some fans get back in soon, even if it’s not them all. We are looking forward to it and hopefully we can do them proud.”
- First team
‘We’ve worked on a lot’Friday 11 September 2020
“We’ve worked on trying to get that end product and steeliness into our performances.”
Stephen Robinson previews Motherwell v St Johnstone.
- First team
Liam Donnelly out until new yearFriday 11 September 2020
Liam Donnelly will be out until the start of 2021, manager Stephen Robinson has confirmed.
The midfielder recently underwent an operation on a knee injury which will keep him out of action.
Donnelly has made one appearance so far in 2020/21 in the Scottish Premiership opener at Ross County in early August.
“Liam has had an operation,” said the Motherwell boss. “He was down seeing the specialist on Thursday.
“It was a little bit worse than we feared, so we are looking at being into the new year before we see Liam back again.
“We’ve been unfortunate with things that have gone against us. It was innocuous. Nobody was near Liam when the injury happened. It’s been a big blow.
“He will be a big miss to us but Mark O’Hara is playing in that position at the moment and doing well. We’ve got some younger kids in Barry Maguire and Dean Cornelius who are doing very, very well at the moment. It’s just when you throw those. younger boys in.”
The manager also provided an injury update on other first team players, with Nathan McGinley fit and available for selection after being sidelined since the Ross County game.
“Jake Carroll and Charles Dunne are making progress but remain unavailable,” he said.
“Scott Fox will have an operation next week on his knee. We’ve just had to wait for the swelling to go down.”
- First team
Allan Campbell is your August Player of the MonthWednesday 09 September 2020
Allan Campbell is our Paycare Player of the Month for August.
The young midfielder continued his form as a consistent performer in midfield, putting in a succession of all-action performances.
The 22-year-old won the public vote after making six appearances across the month, netting in the 2-2 draw with Livingston.
- First team
Watch a live stream of Motherwell v St JohnstoneWednesday 09 September 2020
You can watch a live stream of Motherwell v St Johnstone on Saturday.
No matter where you’re based, there’s options to watch the Scottish Premiership match direct from Fir Park for fans of both clubs.
Based in the UK / Republic of Ireland
Pay-per-view is available priced at £12 for the match.
To buy, head to ppv.motherwellfc.co.uk.
Based outside of the UK/Ireland?
All Scottish Premiership games, home and away, are available to view on our live streaming platform to fans based abroad.
Priced at £150 for the season, or £15 per month, sign up at live.motherwellfc.co.uk today.
Season ticket holders
- First team
Allan Campbell nets winner for Scotland Under 21sWednesday 09 September 2020
Allan Campbell was the hero for Scotland as they defeated Lithuania in their European Under 21 Championship qualifier on Tuesday.
The Motherwell man fired home from the edge of the area with a well-taken strike to net the only goal of the game with 10 minutes remaining.
Fellow youth academy graduate David Turnbull started alongside Campbell in midfield, and he was replaced on the hour mark by another in James Scott.
The win puts Scot Gemmill’s side four points off top side Czech Republic, having played a game less with four group matches to go.
Paycare’s Bundle Wellbeing package for employersTuesday 08 September 2020
Our main sponsor Paycare have launched their Bundle Wellbeing package, which aims to help employers engage their teams and to keep them mentally, physically and financially healthy.
For £2 per employee per month, it includes access to a support helpline, round-the-clock GP appointments, and an extensive discount scheme. It’s designed to give employees working for businesses who sign up the opportunity to access a holistic wellbeing service.
Bundle includes three elements: the first is a round-the-clock telephone support with MyHelpline, which can be used to chat confidentially about a wide range of life events from stress management, debt or legal support and relationship breakdowns to signposting towards caring resources for elderly relatives.
Members will also gain access to Paycare’s well-loved 24/7 online and telephone GP consultation service to help them receive quicker access to healthcare support. MyPocketGP aims to take the pressure off the NHS and ensure those using it can get a telephone call, video consultation or message a doctor at a time convenient to them – without having to physically visit their medical practice.
The MyPocketGP app can be accessed worldwide, with all of the service’s doctors being experienced NHS GPs who can help any time, day or night. Either with a phone call or with the booking of a video consultation, follow up actions on the doctor’s advice can include a private prescription service with medication delivered to the patient’s door or even an open private specialist referral for further investigation of more complex conditions.
The third part of Bundle is access to Paycare Perks – a Paycare exclusive online discount platform which offers a variety of everyday savings on health and fitness, shopping, leisure and entertainment products and services.
“At Paycare we have a long and proud history of helping some of the region’s biggest and smallest employers to find the right way to support their teams,” Anthony Burns, Paycare’s commercial director, said.
“Many companies implement plans to support their employees’ health through our range of Health Cash Plans, but this isn’t the only way that we can help.
“Bundle, available for any business with two or more employees, is an affordable choice for employers who want to offer their teams some recognition for hard work, support for their mental, physical and financial health and as a reward that also proves great for business.
“For us, it’s all about looking at the entire health and wellbeing of our members — not just their physical health but their mental, emotional and financial wellbeing too. That’s why our Bundle has been designed to help employees access support for all these integral parts of their overall health and happiness and offer key benefits that find a logical place within almost any wellbeing strategy.
“Bundle mirrors the fantastic wellbeing services integral to many of Paycare’s Health Cash Plans, for a fraction of the cost at just £2 per employee. This was an idea conceived and trialled with over 300 members before we’d even heard the words Covid-19.
“We know that support like the virtual GP consultations and telephone counselling have become ever more essential during this health crisis, and with ongoing changes to working patterns, priorities and demands for lots of businesses, we know health and wellbeing support will continue to be on the agenda for all.
“Bundle is a great low-cost, high-value employee benefit, which supports wellbeing strategy, shows your team that you care while supporting their holistic health needs.”