Graham Alexander speaks about competition for places and the weekend trip to Tannadice.
- First team
Manager looks ahead to Dundee UnitedFriday 22 October 2021
- Reserves & Under 18s
‘Well exit Youth Cup at hands of Queen’s ParkFriday 22 October 2021
Motherwell exited the Scottish Youth Cup at the second round stage with a defeat at Queen’s Park on Friday.
Having been under severe early pressure, Motherwell found themselves a goal behind with 20 minutes on the clock.
A cross from the left stood up perfectly to meet the head of Mahon, who powered his header past goalkeeper Wallace.
Ten minutes later, it was two. Good play through the middle presented McCormick with the chance to shoot from 15 yards, and he placed his shot into the bottom-left corner of the net.
Motherwell grew back into it. Rice’s perfectly-placed low free-kick from 25 yards was just turned around the post by the home ‘keeper towards the end of the half.
‘Well then came out flying at the start of the second half and were back in it within two minutes.
Wilson’s drive down the left saw him fire in a low cross, which Adam was on hand to tap home at the back post after a great late run.
The pressure continued. MacDonald’s cross from the left met the head of Adam at the front post, but the forward would be denied an instant second as he headed wide.
A vastly improved ‘Well side had plenty in attack on the pitch as they pushed for an equaliser but they were thanking their goalkeeper for keeping them in with a chance with 15 minutes to go.
With the ball played to a Queen’s man 10 yards out, a certain goal was denied by the acrobatics of Wallace to turn the ball away, with the rebound then being fired wide.
Wallace was again at the rescue as the game raced towards the end, pulling off a great save one-on-one before Motherwell cranked the pressure back up.
It looked like the leveller came with three minutes to go. Rice’s brilliant ball into the area was matched by the run of Gould, but he headed wide from close range and with it, the young Steelmen’s game would end in defeat.
Motherwell: Wallace, Hunter, Gould, Dunnachie, Rice, Wilson, Miller, Spiers (Kasongo 65), MacDonald (Beattie 75), Adam, Ferrie (Ross 22).
Subs not used: Bogan, Boyd.
Nicole Cairney departsWednesday 20 October 2021
Nicole Cairney has left Motherwell.
The winger returned to the club for her second stint this summer, joining from Hamilton Academical.
Having made nine appearances this season, her contract has now been cancelled by mutual consent.
We wish Nicole well for the future.
Rangers SWPL1 match rearrangedTuesday 19 October 2021
Our fixture against Rangers, due to take place on Sunday 24 October, will now take place on Wednesday 3 November.
The game has been moved due to a number of international call ups within the Rangers squad.
A kick off time and ticket information for the game at Rangers Training Centre will be communicated in due course.
- First team
Next up: Dundee UnitedTuesday 19 October 2021
Motherwell head to Dundee United in the cinch Premiership match on Saturday.
Kick-off at Tannadice is at 3pm.
Tickets can be purchased from the ticket office at Tannadice until kick-off on Saturday.
Motherwell fans will be located in the Jim McLean Fair Play Upper.
Tickets are priced at:
- Adult: £26
- Concessions: £14 (over 65s, students and Under 18s)
- Under 12s: £5 (only with a full-paying adult)
Fans who require ambulant or wheelchair access should contact Andy Sim on 07428 225254 or email email@example.com.
Concession tickets are subject to inspection at the gate. Please ensure you bring your ID with you (eg. Young Scot card / Student ID / Bus pass).
Vaccine certification is not required for this fixture.
The match is available to buy on pay-per-view from Dundee United in Scotland, Northern Ireland, Wales and Ireland for £12.50.
To buy, head to ppv.dundeeunitedfc.co.uk.
Due to UEFA restrictions, the game can not be sold in England.
International viewers can watch through our subscription service at live.motherwellfc.co.uk. Packages start at as little as £12.50 per month to watch all 38 cinch Premiership fixtures.
Tale of the tape
Results between the two teams since United’s return to the top flight have been finely poised.
A 1-0 win at Fir Park for the Terrors in the first meeting was followed by a 1-1 draw at Tannadice.
Motherwell then won 2-1 at Fir Park, before another draw away at the end of the 2020/21 season.
United are undefeated in three, drawing with Celtic before going on to defeat Ross County 1-0 and then Hibernian 3-0 away.
Motherwell have suffered back-to-back league defeats by two goals to zero, losing at Hearts and then at home to Celtic.
Before then, Graham Alexander’s side had gone six league matches undefeated.
Victory over Hearts in SWPL1Sunday 17 October 2021
Motherwell cruised to a comfortable 2-0 victory over Hearts at Alliance Park on Sunday.
Leanne Crichton’s opener from the penalty spot and Kaela McDonald-Nguah’s second-half header sealed all three points for ‘the Well.
Motherwell applied the early pressure and were unfortunate not to open the scoring in the early stages.
Gill Inglis skilfully danced her way past several Hearts challenges before unleashing her long-range effort on goal, but Hearts goalkeeper Parker-Smith responded quickly to produce a smart save.
Minutes later, Crichton would come close to the opener following some excellent link-up play.
Lori Gardner’s clever backheel left Crichton free to release her strike at the edge of the box, but the experienced midfielder’s curling effort was superbly tipped over the bar by the keeper.
The visitors would come close to breaking the deadlock on the stroke of half-time. Maria Mcaneny’s in-swinging cross was knocked on by Amelia Birse, but Khym Ramsay reacted quickly to parry away the close-range attempt.
Hearts would again come close in the opening stages of the second half. An exceptional piece of skill from Mcaneny left her free on the left, before cutting inside and placing her effort into the top corner, but Ramsay again reacted quickly to make a comfortable save.
The women of steel would then take the lead from the penalty spot on the hour mark after Crichton was caught with a high challenge in the box. The midfielder stepped up and coolly slotted her strike into the bottom-right corner.
Motherwell would add a second in the latter stages of the game. Crichton’s floated corner was superbly met by McDonald-Nguah, who powered her headed effort past the keeper into the top-right corner.
The win pushes Motherwell up into sixth in the league table, five points shy of fourth-placed Hibernian.
The team will be full of confidence as they travel to face Rangers next week, with three clean sheets and three games unbeaten on the bounce.
- First team
Manager reacts to Celtic lossSaturday 16 October 2021
“There was a game there for us to win. But the defining moments didn’t go for us.”
- First team
Motherwell 0-2 CelticSaturday 16 October 2021
Celtic emerged victorious as Motherwell came up short in a 2-0 loss in the cinch Premiership.
Goals from Jota and David Turnbull sealed it for the visitors, although ‘Well were denied the chance to get back into the game when a stonewall penalty for handball was denied midway through the second half.
Motherwell came out the traps flying, dominating the ball and pressing their opponents high up the pitch denying them the chance to get out.
Both Watt and Woolery flashed low crosses across the face of goal with no takers, as ‘Well threatened to take an early lead.
But Celtic were vicious when they got on the ball in the higher areas and it proved with a clinical strike with 17 minutes gone.
Caught cold on the counter, ‘Well let Jota in behind down the left and the Portgeuese forward unleashed his shot before Mugabi could arrive, finding the inside of Kelly’s near post.
Falling behind took the wind out of Motherwell’s sails and Celtic were able to camp themselves in the host’s half.
That dominant spell fell apart though when, on the half hour mark, referee Willie Collum approached the sidelines to indicate he had received an injury.
A six-minute delay allowed Motherwell to regroup and they finished the first half stronger, setting up a shot at getting back on level terms in the second half.
But that evaporated quickly. Six minutes into the half, Turnbull found space 30 yards out and sent an unstoppable shot into the top-right corner of the net to make it two.
Motherwell didn’t give in, and dragged themselves back into the game.
The turning point could and should have come in the 68th minute. With Van Veen introduced, his attempt to latch onto Woolery’s quick throw was palmed away by defender Bolingoli.
Despite happening in front of the assistant, the Motherwell protests were waved away.
‘Well kept going and Goss saw two attempts go over, while McGinley’s exceptional cross from the left just eluded the finishing touch from the lurking Van Veen and Watt.
To the last, the Steelmen showed their determination but they couldn’t get themselves back into the game and ended up with the loss.
Motherwell: Kelly, O’Donnell, Mugabi, Ojala, McGinley, Grimshaw (Amaluzor), Goss, Slattery, Woolery, Roberts (Van Veen), Watt.
Subs: Fox, Solholm, Carroll, Donnelly, O’Hara.
- First team
Kevin van Veen’s long path to fan favouriteFriday 15 October 2021
Kevin van Veen was not tempted to drink with a crowd of bleary-eyed Motherwell fans that greeted him off the team bus like a king after last month’s draw at Rangers.
However, the Dutchman is committed to getting the beers in if the squad continue their promising start through to the end of the season.
“The gaffer was there so I needed to be on my toes and not do anything stupid,” he jokes.
“But if we have a good season we will be happy to have a proper party and I will buy some beers for everyone, not an issue.
“Everyone had left the car park and I was still there for at least another 15 minutes, they didn’t let me go.
“I had my song blasting in my ear, but I don’t mind any of that. It’s up to me now to give them something to be excited about and get them off their seats.
“I’ll always make time for the fans. I never ignore them, it’s how I’ve always been. I’m really appreciative from my side. Everyone wants to be loved and I couldn’t wish for anything more.”
It goes without saying that Kevin has had to work the hard way to become a fan favourite at the clubs he has turned out for.
The Eindhoven-born man has had a career that has spanned from a heart-breaking release at boyhood club PSV, to being a part-time plasterer while banging in the goals in the Dutch second tier.
And Kevin feels his unconventional route into the full-time professional game has shaped his personality both on and off the pitch.
“Nowadays kids earn so much money and lose the value of what life is about,” he says.
“They work hard for it, don’t get me wrong, but it’s different from being ice cold while doing a 12-hour plastering shift.
“It’s who I am. I am one of the most down to earth people you’ll meet. I’ll never forget where I come from.”
Kevin’s football career started at PSV, the club he supported as a boy and still supports today.
If that was not good enough, our number nine was also coached by his idol Ruud van Nistelrooy.
With well over 400 career goals to the former Manchester United and Real Madrid man’s name, he proved quite the mentor.
And while Kevin was coached by a footballing legend at club level, he also played with future superstars at national team level, even if he did not know it at the time.
“At the Dutch Under 15s I played with Memphis Depay, Virgil Van Dijk and Georginio Wijnaldum,” Kevin says. “The funniest bit about that is I was starting over them in that team.
“But at PSV my striker coach was van Nistelrooy. I really looked up to him, but he was so normal and down to earth. It was a privilege to work with him and I learned so much, we all did because we scored so many goals when he worked with us.”
Kevin’s dream of securing a professional contract at PSV was brought to a crushing end in his late teens, as the Eindhoven club opted to release the striker due to a lack of height at the time.
The forward was devastated to the point he decided to throw the towel in on the prospect of playing professional and instead chose to play at amateur level with friends and family, but he also required money in his pocket.
After a jolt from his father to get involved in some proper work, Kevin swapped the day-to-day life as a youth team footballer for the glamourous life as a plasterer, something he continued doing all the way through his career in the Netherlands until his move to England.
“When PSV told me to leave my dream was broke in two,” Kevin recalls. “My whole young life was there, between training and the private schooling they set up.
“I was plastering at same time as playing amateur, training twice a week at night then plastering the whole week – starting from 6am and working sometimes until 7pm. I started to get recognised by scouts, but I didn’t even want to go professional.
“I had so many enquiries, but I said no because I just wanted to play for fun and do a normal job. When I eventually turned professional I still plastered, I couldn’t let it go.
“Every year I was making a step up, scoring 20 goals a season, and before I knew it I could sign for clubs in the English Championship, League One, Bundesliga and Azerbaijan. I held out so long in my decision then ended up signing for Scunthorpe.”
Kevin made the move to Scunthorpe in 2015, where he played under current Motherwell boss Graham Alexander.
Kevin was coined with the nickname ‘Budget Bergkamp’ by the fans for his eye-catching displays at the club, and an impressive goal return attracted interest from the Chinese Super League in 2017.
A mooted fee of £4m was knocked back for the Dutch striker, with Scunthorpe reportedly holding out for an offer twice as much.
“I wanted to punch the wall,” Kevin says as he reflects on a whirlwind time in his career. “£4m for me? I would drive myself anywhere for that.
“Even though I had a great season, it was unbelievable money. Scunthorpe thought there was more to get, but I think the Chinese club might’ve been offended by that.
“I wouldn’t say there is bad blood between the Scunthorpe chairman and myself, but I do think, what if? What if it did work out and they got it over the line?”
Kevin’s six-year stay south of the border came to an end this summer after an injury-hit season last term.
The striker had offers on the table from his homeland, England and “tropical clubs”, but instead opted for Costa del Well, a decision he has “zero regrets” about after reuniting with his previous manager.
“There was a lot of interest elsewhere,” he says. “But when I spoke to the gaffer it pulled me over the line. I’ve worked with him and Chris [Lucketti] before and I wanted to do it again.
“We were successful together. I know what they want and demand and I know what I need to do to get in the team. Straight away I’ve had a connection with everyone. We are a really compact group, there are no bad apples.
“We’ve had a good start, but as a team we need to keep pushing as hard as we can. If we can do that I really fancy us to have a very good season, but it’s down to us to work hard and get results.”
- First team
Graham Alexander previews CelticFriday 15 October 2021
The Motherwell boss talks about the need to believe the team can take all three points.