“We haven’t played for a month. We’ve got injuries. But everything went our way today.”
Stephen Robinson reacts to the 4-0 win over Ross County.
“We haven’t played for a month. We’ve got injuries. But everything went our way today.”
Stephen Robinson reacts to the 4-0 win over Ross County.
Motherwell waved aside any excuses of injuries and lack of action to comfortably beat Ross County and make it three wins from their last four league games.
While the Fir Park players have been left kicking their heels for four weeks, County have had four competitive games during ‘Well’s forced inactivity.
But after a tight first half when only Tony Watt’s goal separated the sides, the Fir Park men dominated the second 45, with goals from Mark O’Hara, Callum Lang and Devante Cole helping to record the Steelmen’s best win of the season.
Injuries to Liam Grimshaw, Bevis Mugabi and Ricki Lamie meant a couple of defensive changes to the side which last started against Rangers four weeks ago.
Stephen Robinson reverted to a back four with Mark O’Hara a surprise partner alongside Declan Gallagher and a fully fit Nathan McGinley filling the left back position. That allowed Barry Maguire to start his first game of the season, covering O’Hara’s role in front of the back four.
Cole, returning for his second loan spell, made his first appearance in a front three with Tony Watt and Christopher Long.
Despite the long lay-off the Steelmen made a spirited start with Cole and Watt looking lively around the visitors’ box. After six minutes the pair combined to feed the ball to Allan Campbell at the edge of the box but on his left foot, the Scotland Under 21 star lifted his shot wide of goal.
A few minutes later Watt earned a free kick, but although he got his head to Liam Polworth’s ball he could only guide it away from goal.
There was a good pace to the game with both sides eager to exchange quick passes to move the ball from end to end but without exerting any pressure on either goal.
However, Motherwell’s defensive problems were extended after 23 minutes when Trevor Carson raced from his box to head the ball clear but collided with Regan Charles-Cook in the process. After some treatment to his left knee the Northern Ireland ‘keeper played on for a few minutes before he limped off the field allowing Aaron Chapman, signed at the start of the month, to pull on the goalkeeper’s gloves.
While the tall former Peterborough United stopper was settling in front of the empty David Cooper stand, ‘Well raced to the other end and produce the opening goal.
McGinley’s terrific run to the byline and tempting cross into the six-yard box was greatly accepted by Watt who nudged into the net past Ross Doohan.
Two minutes from the end of normal time Polworth’s nod on found Cole at the edge of the box. His swift turn took out Coll Donaldson but his left foot finish sent the ball over the crossbar.
In added on time Chapman came off his line to impressively clutch an Iain Vigurs corner under pressure.
Just before the half time whistle, though, from a tight angle Charles-Cook squeezed the ball under the stand-in ‘keeper, leaving Gallagher to clear the ball off his goal line and keep ‘Well’s slender lead intact at the interval.
That lead might have been extended in a positive start to the second half.
Firstly, Polworth collected the ball 40 yards from goal and with an eye for a drive, advanced past a couple of County players before his well-controlled low shot slipped past the post. Then his corner kick found Gallagher 10 yards in front of goal but the ‘Well captain could only send his header over the bar.
‘Well eventually found the net after 53 minutes when Watt burst into the penalty area only to fall to the deck under Tom Grivosti’s sliding challenge. Referee Craig Napier had no hesitation pointing to the penalty spot and although the Staggies protested, O’Hara calmly stepped up to slam the ball low into the corner of the net to make it 2-0.
Not unexpectedly the Fir Park goal had to survive a response from the Highlanders.
Tony Watt turned goal stopper as he headed Ross Stewart’s net bound effort up and over his own bar. County then had appeals for a penalty of their own as Stewart tumbled to the ground after screwing his shot wide from eight yards.
Hoping to kill off the visitor’s Robinson made his second substitution on the hour, Callum Lang replacing Long. And the move paid off immediately as the Fir Park grabbed a third to wrap up the points.
Polworth’s deep corner found Gallagher and when he headed the ball back across goal, Lang with his first touch slid it inside the post.
Motherwell looked to add to their tally and after 69 minutes Lang did well on the right to release Watt who’s angled drive was well blocked by Doohan.
The County ‘keeper was helpless two minutes later when Cole eased past Donaldson and had time to pick his spot beyond Doohan for a calm finish to make it 4-0 and round off an impressive return to action for the Steemen.
Our precautionary round of Covid-19 testing has returned negative results for the entire playing squad and coaching staff.
After one player tested positive earlier this week, we took the measure of an additional round of tests to ensure the health and safety of all, including our weekend opponents Ross County.
With no-one other than our positive player required to isolate and no further Covid-19 cases, Saturday’s Premiership match will go ahead as planned.
“We’ve trained hard and pushed the squad to try and recreate the match environment.”
Stephen Robinson previews the visit of Ross County.
A member of our playing squad has tested positive for Covid-19.
Following testing on Tuesday morning, we then learned of the result.
The player in question immediately went into self-isolation and underwent a secondary test on Wednesday, which also returned positive.
No other squad members or staff members tested positive in that round of testing, and no-one has been required to isolate under contact tracing procedure.
As a precaution, the playing squad and coaching staff will undergo further tests on Friday morning.
Andrew Robertson is a Champions League winner. Andrew Robertson is a Premier League winner.
He’s also a mean table tennis hustler and a Twitter PR guru, by all accounts.
Motherwell’s Declan Gallagher has learned first hand how much of a class act the former Queen’s Park left-back is over the last few weeks.
The Fir Park skipper has played an integral part in the national side’s recent surge in form, playing all three of Scotland’s undefeated run that has them just one game away from UEFA EURO 2020.
It was enough to earn him praise on Twitter from Robertson, who lauded Gallagher’s showing to his 1.4m followers. And after tagging the Motherwell man, he is now reaping the rewards as his own online disciple tally reached the heady heights of 3500.
“We were having a laugh about it during the week,” he said. “The boys are on Twitter and me and Andy were having a laugh as we were playing lots of table tennis when we were away, obviously while social distancing.
“We got a good bond off the field and he said to me ‘don’t worry mate, I’ll help your Twitter followers go up’. He put up a tweet and I told him that he better tag me next time, then the next one goes up and he has. It was good of him.
“He meant what he said when he said I’d done well and deserved it. At the end of the day, he’s a Champions League and Premier League winner, so it’s great, but he’s come through the ranks just as I did in the lower leagues. He knows what it’s all about.
“It’s amazing to get praise from the captain of your country and someone like that.
“To be fair, I did say to him my Twitter following did go up. I’m now up to around 3,500 followers. My phone didn’t stop going after he tweeted about me, but it was probably folk just replying to him.”
Gallagher was at the heart of a Scotland defence which kept three clean sheets in three consecutive victories in October, putting the national team top of their UEFA Nations League group and also setting up a date with destiny in Serbia next month.
With manager Steve Clarke putting his faith in Gallagher, the influential defender is hopeful he’ll get the nod again for the potentially history-defining match.
“I was delighted just to play my part,” Gallagher added.
“You are always disappointed when you’re not playing, and I thought I did well in my two previous games, but there are some great players in my position for Scotland.
“To get the chance this time is that wee bit sweeter, and to do as well as I did was the cherry on the cake.
“To get to a play-off final game to get to a major tournament, it’s just an unbelievable thing.
“Steve Clarke has given a lot of the Scottish Premiership boys a fair look. Myself, Paul Hanlon, Andy Considine. He’s not scared to put in the Scottish–based lads and there’s no bias towards the boys in a bigger league as some may like to see it.
“Just because you’re not playing down south doesn’t mean you are a bad player. It just means you’ve not had that chance to go and do it. We have proven we can match these European teams.”
The ‘Well skipper was expecting to go straight into action last weekend with only a handful of days to prepare, only for the Steelmen’s clash away to St Mirren to fall victim to a Covid-19 outbreak at the Paisley club.
It means Well will have gone the best part of a month without kicking a competitive ball, but Gallagher insists there will be no ring rust from him or his team-mates.
“I know the boys will have been working hard. You work hard for two weeks to play football, so the boys will have been a wee bit upset that the game against St Mirren didn’t go ahead. It’s coming up to a month since we last played, it was a bit devastating for us.
“But our minds are focused on the Ross County game. I know for a fact we will be raring to go for the Ross County game.
“I’m not worried about sharpness. We have a good squad of boys and hopefully we will get a few back.
“I think if you said to the boys they’d rather play midweek than train. We are all professionals. It’ll be tough, I’ll not say it won’t be, but we will be looking forward to it.
“Hopefully we can take maximum points when they come around.”
Of course, Gallagher was not the only one away on international duty. Stephen O’Donnell joined him in the Scotland camp, Barry Maguire, PJ Morrison and Allan Campbell were away with the Under 21s, Bevis Mugabi was with Uganda. At the same time, Trevor Carson started for Northern Ireland in their clash with Norway.
And it’s that international springboard that the Well skipper reckons will get Stephen Robinson’s men flying into this weekend’s meeting with Ross County.
“We brought a natural buzz when we came back from the international break. So did Trevor Carson getting his first start for Northern Ireland in a long time.
“The boys are always on a high, we were on a decent run outside the Old Firm games and obviously we want to get the momentum going.
“We had hoped that would start against St Mirren but it wasn’t to be. Hopefully when the Ross County game we will keep that buzz and we will go into the game flying.”
By Scott Mullen.
There’s a live stream available of Motherwell v Ross County on Saturday.
The Scottish Premiership match can be watched in two ways.
Season ticket holders and foreign-based fans can watch through their normal international subscription at live.motherwellfc.co.uk.
A pay-per-view match pass is also available for £12 to all other fans, from both teams, at ppv.motherwellfc.co.uk.
Racism has no place in football. Racism has no place in society.
We are proudly continuing our support for Show Racism the Red Card, as they continue their Fortnight of Action. The education charity have spread messages of tolerance and inclusion within football for many years.
Now more than ever, the importance of this fortnight cannot be overstated.
Our fight to end racism exists every day. This weekend against Ross County – and across all Scottish football matches – we as clubs will united to call for an end to racial discrimination and inequality throughout society.
Show Racism the Red Card work all year round with schools, workplaces, grassroots, youth football clubs and the prison service to educate young people and adults on challenging prejudice and stereotypes, using the power of football as a positive way to instigate conversation on anti-racism.
Covid-19 and events overseas have shone a light on the growing inequalities that some of us unfairly face. Still today, many experience this disproportionately due to the colour of their skin.
Last year in Scotland, 81% of young people felt more confident in identifying and safely challenging racism after working directly with Show Racism the Red Card.
Scottish football is committed to eradicating racism and discrimination in all its forms from our game. We call on our supporters to continue to challenge racism. It is the responsibility of us all to ensure that the anti-racism message is carried out beyond the Fortnight of Action.
“It is so important that we continue to push the message that racism has no place in our sport or society,” Motherwell FC manager Stephen Robinson said.
“Sadly, we continue to see incidents of racism around the world. Whether they are occurring on our doorstep or thousands of miles away, the connected world we live in means that these despicable moments are brought close to home for all.
“We must never be complacent. We must never stop calling it for what it is. We must stand against racism.”
We stand with everyone who has had to endure racial prejudice in all areas of their lives. We condemn all forms of racism and any racist behaviour will not be tolerated at our club.
Football is a sport that is loved by people across the world and football matches should be an enjoyable experience for all, whatever your background. Education is the key. We support Show Racism the Red Card to ensure our future generation are equipped with the tools to challenge and eradicate racism from football and society.
Motherwell and Ross County face for the second time this season in the Scottish Premiership at the weekend.
Here are the storylines going into Saturday’s match.
Having started the season at Fir Park, the forward swapped ML1 for Dingwall at the start of October.
Part of the squad which roared to third spot in the Premiership in the 2019/20 campaign, Hylton contributed four goals in 41 appearances for the Steelmen.
With first team opportunities limited in 2020/21, the 28-year-old took the chance to head north in search of action and to add to the Staggies’ forward options.
Neither side has been able to settle on a consistent run of results in the games between the two in recent years.
Since Motherwell won on the five on the bounce across 2013 and 2014, neither team has won more than two consecutively against the other.
Ross County were winners last time out in Dingwall, with Motherwell winning the previous time at Fir Park.
With both sides harbouring ambitions of a top six finish, there’s three valuable points on offer on Saturday.
Ross County currently sit four points ahead of Motherwell in seventh spot, albeit having played two matches more.
A win for Stuart Kettlewell’s side could lift them to fifth in the Premiership, while Motherwell could jump to eighth.
Motherwell’s last competitive game came on 27 September at home to Rangers, meaning almost a month has passed.
With games against Kilmarnock and St Mirren cancelled due to Covid-19 issues with our opponents, there has been significant time spent in cold storage for Stephen Robinson’s men.
In the same time period, County have played four matches – losing away to Rangers, drawing with Montrose, beating Arbroath and drawing at home to Hibernian.
Our main sponsor Paycare have teamed up with iconic fragrance brand Molton Brown to offer an exclusive range of discounts on Eau de Parfum and Toilette, Bath, Body and Hair Care, and Home collections.
The partnership, which saw Paycare staff and policyholders given access to unique offers for a limited time back in May, was formed when Molton Brown’s Sarah White met Paycare CEO Kevin Rogers at a pre-lockdown football match in Scotland.
The first tranche of discounts proved so popular that there will be even more exclusive products and discounts on offer from 16 October to 9 November.
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