“We have to be up for it. We have to take our game to them.”
Stephen Robinson looks ahead to the clash with Coleraine.
“We have to be up for it. We have to take our game to them.”
Stephen Robinson looks ahead to the clash with Coleraine.
Motherwell travel to Northern Ireland to take on Coleraine in the UEFA Europa League second qualifying round.
Fans worldwide can watch for free via the BBC Sport website.
Kick-off on Thursday 17 September 2020 is at 7.30pm BST.
Coleraine pulled off the result of the first qualifying round last time out, winning away on penalties to Maribor after a 1-1 draw.
Before that, a preliminary round tie with Sammarinese side La Fiorita was won thanks to a last-minute strike in a 1-0 victory.
A second-place finish in the league last season got them into the UEFA Europa League, having finished four points behind champions Linfield.
Motherwell picked up their first league win of the 2020/21 season with a 1-0 home victory over St Johnstone on Saturday.
Glentoran were defeated in the first qualifying round, with Stephen Robinson’s men 5-1 victors at Fir Park.
The match will be available to watch for free worldwide via the BBC Sport website. Kick-off is at 7.30pm.
Our UEFA Europa League second qualifying round match with Coleraine will be shown live on the BBC Sport website.
We have reached an agreement for fans worldwide to be able to see the game for free online, without having to register.
To watch, go to the BBC Sport website. Kick-off on Thursday 17 September is at 7.30pm.
Jamie Semple has joined Cove Rangers on loan.
The youth academy product will head to the League One side as they prepare to resume competitive action, starting with a Betfred Cup tie against Hibernian on 10 October.
Talented attacking midfielder Semple, 19, has made six appearances for our first team.
He will head north for the duration of the 2020/21 season, with Motherwell retaining the right to recall him in January.
“It’s important for Jamie to get game time to continue his development and Cove are a good club for him to go and get that,” manager Stephen Robinson said.
“He will continue to train with us for most of the week and we will monitor his progress in games.”
A debutant for our Under 20s side at the age of 14, the Scotland youth international made his debut against Dundee in April 2019, putting the ball into the box for David Turnbull’s winner in a 4-3 victory.
Three Betfred Cup appearances early in season 2019/20 followed, before injury curtailed his campaign.
“We worked hard to get into this competition last year. It’s a game to relish but ultimately we will do that by progressing.”
Keith Lasley looks ahead to the UEFA Europa League second qualifying round tie with Coleraine.
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Allan Campbell scored the goal as Motherwell recorded their first league win of the 2020/21 season.
“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.
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.
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.”