“We have to look inside ourselves and ask if we really want a good season or be in a bang average position. That’s the challenge for us.”
- First team
Graham Alexander reacts to loss at Dundee UnitedWednesday 09 February 2022
- First team
Dundee United 2-0 MotherwellWednesday 09 February 2022
Motherwell were punished for a lack of cutting edge as Dundee United ran out 2-0 winners in the cinch Premiership.
Goals from Dylan Levitt and Tony Watt sealed the win for United in a game where ‘Well should have been out of sight with their spurned chances in the first half.
Motherwell saw four changes from the team which lost to Celtic at home at the weekend.
Juhani Ojala, Kaiyne Woolery and Jordan Roberts were restored to the side, with Joe Efford making his first start. Stephen O’Donnell, Jake Carroll, Dean Cornelius and Kevin van Veen dropped to the bench.
It was almost an incredible dream start for ‘Well.
With just 10 seconds on the clock, Slattery’s pass inside to Goss saw the midfielder unleash a shot on goal from 30 yards.
Siegrist was completely beaten, but Goss saw his shot rattle the crossbar and bounce clear.
Seconds later, Goss had another chance on goal with a free-kick from 25 yards, but the ball just wouldn’t come down quick enough as it landed on the roof of the net.
‘Well were by far the brighter but almost came undone with 10 minutes on the clock.
Harkes’ defence-splitting pass through the middle caught Ojala on his heels and allowed McNulty in behind.
The forward shrugged off the desperate late attentions of the Finn, before sending his shot on an angle from the left into the side netting.
Motherwell continued positively, sending bodies forward and looking to get crosses into the box for the forwards to attack.
Donnelly would see a half-volley from 20 yards blocked as he tried to smash it through a sea of bodies while, at the other end, a superb last-ditch intervention from Mugabi denied Niskanen as he went to pull the trigger.
A clear chance would also fall the way of Efford at the midway point. Bursting forward and with Woolery and Roberts other side to assist, the American elected to shoot from just inside the area after getting free, but saw his effort fly over.
The chances kept coming. Next, Woolery took flight down the left, squaring to the penalty spot for Roberts, but he flashed his effort wide.
Remarkably, a sucker punch would arrive on the half-hour mark.
A cross from the right was cleared to the edge of the box where Levitt was waiting unopposed. With a challenging ball to get under his spell. he smashed it straight into the t0p-left corner of the net to leave ‘Well scratching their heads at how they found themselves behind.
Motherwell persisted, with Slattery firing over from distance and with the attacking players consistently linking together high up the park.
The second half started slower but the visitors came out with the same intent.
A Goss free-kick from the left brought the first chance of the half, with Mugabi being blocked as he tried to steer it in at the back post, and then Slattery’s placed follow-up being diverted away from goal.
United would, however, go two ahead on the hour mark.
Niskanen was able to maraud all too freely down the left and – firing across the face of goal – he found Watt at the back post who just had to get something on it to double his team’s advantage against his old side.
Motherwell struggled to get back in it after that, despite the introduction of four substitutions, as United saw the game through.
Headers from Tierney and Solholm troubled the United goal, but it would end with another defeat for the Steelmen.
Motherwell: Kelly, Mugabi, Solholm, Ojala, McGinley, Donnelly (Shields), Goss, Slattery (Cornelius), Woolery (Tierney), Roberts (Van Veen), Efford.
Subs not used: Fox, O’Donnell, Carroll, Grimshaw, Shaw.
- First team
Graham Alexander looks ahead to Dundee UnitedTuesday 08 February 2022
The boss speaks as his team go in search of a first league win in 2022 and keep up their pace at the top end of the cinch Premiership table.
Settling in to new surroundingsTuesday 08 February 2022
From coming through the ranks at boys’ clubs to playing for Scotland, 18-year-old Paige McAllister has come a long way since she first started playing football at the age of five.
McAllister signed for the women of steel in 2021 after an impressive period at Hearts while out on loan from Celtic.
The defender’s defensive efforts with Motherwell haven’t gone unnoticed as she was called up to January’s Scotland training camp, meaning she has now been called up for every national level she has been eligible for apart from the main adult team.
“When I started playing women’s football, I was with Celtic’s under 17s at 14 years old. I was a bit nervous because I was playing and training with the older ones but once I went in for my first trial I felt alright, and over time I became more confident in my ability and myself as a player.
“Once I got accepted by Celtic and I settled into the squad I got my first Scotland call ups. I’ve now been called up for the under 15s, under 16s, under 17s and under 19s, and I received my first call up when I was around 14 or 15.
“Since then, I have been involved with various training camps spanning the different age group. I joined the under 17s team in the Championship and I even got a goal.”
When discussing what it was like to be invited to take part on international duty McAllister added: “It’s always an honour to be called up to play for your country but I wasn’t expecting to be called up to the January training camp. I had picked up a really bad injury and I thought the under 19s campaign was finished.
“It was a brilliant feeling being invited to the camp. It’s a huge honour to be considered and an even bigger one to be invited away.
“It’s great being away with the girls, it lets you meet and talk to players you may not have had the chance to engage with before, especially if there are new faces in the squad because it lets you form some good friendships and create memories.
“This year it was a bit different because of Covid, you had to stay in your hotel rooms when you weren’t training, and we had to make sure we were social distancing and keeping to the Covid protocols in place but those bonds you make on the pitch stick with you.
“I never take it for granted, I never expect it, so every time feels just as good as the first.”
McAllister may have only scored two goals in the SWPL overall, but she got her first-ever professional goal for Scotland which saw her country win 4-1 against Northern Ireland in October 2019.
“I think I blacked out after I scored it to be honest,” she explained. “I scored the goal, and everyone started running to me to celebrate and I kind of just stood still. I was in complete shock. It was so unexpected, and it easily became one of the best days of my life.”
International duty can show players different tactics and styles they may not have utilised while playing at their clubs. It is something McAllister is keen to draw on.
Having the likes of Leanne Crichton, who has been to major tournaments with the Scotland national team, alongside her will undoubtedly help in her development, and she is also looking to draw on the experience of others.
“International football is obviously different from club football,” she said, “I’ve felt myself improve after being away as it gives you different perspectives and ways of developing your game.
“I definitely encourage the other girls to try to push themselves so they can have the opportunity to be called up. I would say to young players to keep working hard as it is possible.
“Getting game time is so important, which is why I’m extremely grateful for Motherwell giving me the opportunity. Our improved form this season has definitely contributed.”
This summer, former Scottish internationalist Crichton joined both the coaching and playing staff at Motherwell.
Hailed as one of the most influential female players of her generation, the 34-year-old earned 72 caps and has been a hugely inspirational figure for the Women of Steel.
“Paul [Brownlie] and Crichton have been great at taking me on board and helping me advance as a player,” said McAllister.
“They are all about helping youth players with game time and becoming the best that they can be by giving me experience. That then helps me prove to both myself and the Scotland coaches that I am a strong player, and I am good enough to be playing.
“I definitely believe that Crichton’s experience, as well as being an internationalist, has rubbed off on to the rest of the team. She has brought so much to the group, and the older more seasoned players, as well as the younger ones, have all learned something from her.
“I have also learned things on international duty that I’ll try to show the rest of the team so we can all progress as one unit.
“Crichton has experienced a lot over her playing career and being able to learn from a player of her calibre is honestly amazing. She is a great inspiration to us as players and to a lot of young girls overall. Having her as a team-mate and coach is wonderful.
“I’ve learned a lot during my time at Motherwell and I hope I can continue to improve and keep our good run of form going for the rest of the season.”
Our Valentine’s gift guideTuesday 08 February 2022
Check out our fantastic Valentine’s Day gift ideas and pricing for the Motherwell fan in your life.
Purchase a brick fascia with your own personal message. Each brick comes with an official certificate, which can be framed and kept by the recipient as a permanent reminder, giving the fan you love the opportunity to be even closer to their club.
Get yours now for £50 (was £55).
Motherwell FC Special Edition Loch Lomond Gin
Inspired by the majesty and beauty of Ben Lomond and the Trossachs, Ben Lomond is a vibrant and crisp Scottish Gin with a delicate berry sweetness. We’ve a limited number of bottles available so make sure your Valentine doesn’t miss out.
Buy online now for £25 (was £30).
Limited edition 1991 Scottish Cup Commemorative Whisky
The 10-year-old single malt has been matured in American oak casks and has a perfect balance of fruit notes with hints of honey and vanilla with a light touch of peat smoke. The perfect gift for the ‘Well fan in your life.
Available to buy online now for £45 (was £50).
- First team
Next up: Dundee UnitedMonday 07 February 2022
The games keep coming with a trip to face Dundee United on Wednesday in the cinch Premiership.
Kick-off at Tannadice is at 7.45pm.
Get your tickets now
To buy tickets, you can get yours online now from Dundee United, or from the ticket office at Tannadice until kick-off.
- Adults: £26
- Concessions : £14
Covid-19 certification checks will not be in operation.
We also advise that all fans take a lateral flow test before travelling to the match, regardless of their vaccination status.
You can watch a live stream of Dundee United v Motherwell for £12.50 if you’re in the UK.
To buy, head to ppv.dundeeunitedfc.co.uk
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
Motherwell won the last meeting between the two sides in a 1-0 victory at Fir Park.
Last time at Tannadice, Charlie Mulgrew’s late goal gave United all three points in a 2-1 win.
Motherwell are seeking a first league win of 2022, having drawn two and lost three since the return from the winter break.
Dundee United have won one, drawn two and lost two since the turn of the year, with their last two matches ending 0-0.
Defeat at Hearts in SWPL1Sunday 06 February 2022
Motherwell were beaten in a tight battle at the Oriam on Sunday, with Hearts running out 1-0 victors.
Erin Rennie’s tap in secured all three points for the Edinburgh side.
In a cagey affair in the capital, Motherwell had the best chance of the first half in the 30th minute.
On her first start this season, Jordan McLintock’s effort was on target and forced Charlotte Parker-Smith in the Hearts net into a save which then struck off the post.
Hearts’ biggest chance of the first period came in the 35th minute. Maria McAneny won the ball back for the Jambos before she struck just wide of the mark.
Neither side could find a breakthrough and the teams went in at the break on level terms.
Hearts made changes at half time as they looked to find a breakthrough and did just that in the 77th minute. McAneny’s free-kick was fired towards goal and Khym Ramsay couldn’t hold on to the ball and Rennie finished to make it 1-0.
Jemma Hughes thought she had equalised when she had the ball in the back of the net in the closing stages. However the referee ruled the goal out for a foul on the Hearts defender in the build up.
Motherwell now go into a break and will return to action when they play Rangers on Sunday 20 February.
- First team
Manager on Celtic lossSunday 06 February 2022
“We’re always going to have challenges. It’s about how we respond to that and how we get back up.”
- First team
Motherwell 0-4 CelticSunday 06 February 2022
Motherwell were blown away as Celtic racked up four without reply in victory at Fir Park in the cinch Premiership.
Tom Rogic’s double, with further strikes from Liel Abada and Daizen Maeda, consigned the Steelmen to defeat.
The Steelmen set up to play in a positive fashion, with only one change from the midweek draw at St Mirren. The enforced removal of Liam Shaw, who couldn’t play against his parent club, saw Dean Cornelius step in to midfield.
Motherwell pressed high from the off, making life uncomfortable for the visiting defence as they looked to build from the back.
Celtic though were dangerous when they broke out of the trap, and Kelly twice had to come to the rescue to deny Abada and Giakoumakis early on.
That endeavour lasted 28 minutes, before a double salvo from Celtic swung the game in their favour.
Hatate found room all too easily on the left from a swift move, crossing for Abada at the back post to steer the ball home.
Three minutes later, Rogic found room 25 yards from goal in the centre, and sent an unstoppable curling effort into the top-left corner to make it two.
Celtic’s third would come on the stroke of half-time. Abada beat the offside trap on the right, sliding the ball across goal for Rogic to tap in.
Manager Graham Alexander responded by making three changes at the interval. Joe Efford made his debut, and was joined in attack by Ross Tierney and Kaiyne Woolery. Van Veen, Goss and Carroll made away.
That change sparked a more positive approach from the hosts, with Efford having the best chance to pull one back.
Finding room cutting in from the right, his shot took a deflection and had Hart sprawling to tip it behind.
It would be the visitors who would get the lucky break from a deflection to increase their lead with 20 minutes left.
The lively Maeda cut in from the right side and his shot was blocked by the brilliant sliding intervention of Mugabi. Unfortunately though, the ball looped up into the sky and came down into the net.
Motherwell: Kelly, O’Donnell, Solholm (Nirennold), Mugabi, Carroll (Tierney), McGinley, Donnelly, Goss (Woolery), Cornelius, Slattery (Grimshaw), Van Veen (Efford).
Subs not used: Fox, Ojala, Amazluzor, Roberts.
- First team
Ross Tierney’s finding home comforts alreadySaturday 05 February 2022
He may have only been here two months, but already, Ross Tierney considers Motherwell home.
The 20-year-old made the move to Fir Park at the end of last year from Bohemian FC in the League of Ireland and would make his debut as the Steelmen hosted Morton in the Scottish Cup in late January.
Along with the challenges of moving his young family to Scotland, Tierney also contracted Covid-19 earlier in the year.
It has been a whirlwind, but the trials of the early stages of his time in ML1 has done nothing to dampen his desire to make the most of his opportunity.
“I’m loving it so far, things are going really well and Motherwell already feels like home for me,” said Tierney, who netted a dramatic leveller against St Mirren midweek.
“It was important that I came to Scotland and settled quickly, not just for me, but also for my missus and the kids too.
“There are a lot of similarities between Scotland and Ireland. I think the people are very similar and just like back home, the weather isn’t very good. For a pale guy like me, I don’t really enjoy the sun much.
“I caught Covid at the beginning of the year. It was hard not being able to go into training, but thankfully I felt okay and was able to return after my isolation. The rest of the family were in Ireland at the time and all tested negative, I was relieved as I’d have blamed myself if any of them had caught it from me. Overall it wasn’t too catastrophic.
“Obviously you don’t want to catch Covid, but I was lucky that it happened during the winter break and I wasn’t missing games. I’m back, feeling good and looking forward to the busy run of games that we have coming up.”
After touching down in Scotland, Tierney trained with his new teammates for a few weeks before being available for selection at the turn of the year.
Walking into the dressing room at Fir Park, he admits to being shy initially as he took the time to adapt, but with the support of the players and staff at the football club, he has adjusted quickly.
There has been limited time to explore his new surroundings – except for trips to a famous chain of restaurants and a kids’ soft play.
“I was quite quiet when I came in, but the lads in the dressing room have been brilliant with me,” he added. “It doesn’t feel like a job coming into Fir Park every morning, it’s more like an extension of my family, from the
groundsman to the chef, to the office staff – everyone will stop for a chat and to say hello. Karen [Paterson] has been a brilliant help to me too since I signed.
“I think apart from Nando’s I’ve not really been anywhere, although I did go to ‘Ruff and Tumble’ last weekend – my two-year-old was able to use up plenty of energy.”
The attacking midfielder was sold on a move to ‘Well by boss Graham Alexander who explained he would be part of the first team and should he impress in training, then he would be given an opportunity to demonstrate his worth.
True to his word, Alexander handed Tierney his Premiership debut off the bench against Hibernian, though following the dismissal of Liam Donnelly, his first taste of league action would end after 19 minutes and he was replaced by Callum Slattery as Motherwell tried to ensure a share of the spoils.
Although it was disappointing, the Dublin-born ace says he understood the decision to take him off, and four days later, the faith the Motherwell boss has in him was clear as Tierney was handed his first start in claret and amber for the meeting with Hearts at Tynecastle.
“The manager told me that if I came here and trained well then I would get my chance and that’s what I want to do,” he explained. “I watched a lot of Scottish football growing up and I knew what to expect in terms of the standard.
“It was brilliant to get my debut against Morton and I felt that I did well when I got my chance. The next game against Hibs, I came on and then was subbed off as the gaffer looked to make sure we took something from the game.
“I obviously heard the reaction of the fans and to be honest I didn’t want to applaud as it might have been taken the wrong way and that I agreed with them being upset – that wasn’t the case.
“The manager spoke to me after the game and explained he hates having to do that sort of thing, but I understood his reasons why he did it and my only concern was that the team went on to get a result, which we managed to do.
“I respect the supporters, but when it comes to my football, the most important opinion is that of the manager.
“It is also important not to look too far ahead, I know there is real competition for places and that I’ll need to keep performing well if I want to stay in the team.
“We are getting nearer to the point where almost all of our squad are fully fit and there are new players arriving too – I certainly don’t envy the gaffer having to pick the team for every game. Everyone is hungry and looking to make an impact, those in the team know they have to perform if they want to stay there.”
Tierney’s former side Bohemians have forged a reputation for being a club with community at the heart of everything they do, and he says he quickly saw real comparisons between the Dublin outfit and Motherwell.
Like ‘Well, Bohs are also fan-owned, contribute to a number of important causes locally, and such was the affinity that Tierney’s family built up for the club, some remain season ticket holders at Dalymount Park.
Having been handed his first opportunities in the professional game, and supported by those at the club through difficult times, he says that he will be forever grateful to Ireland’s oldest professional team.
“There are a lot of similarities between the two clubs, that is something I pointed out to my agent when I arrived at Motherwell,” he explained. “The club is a big part of the local community and there is a real family atmosphere to the place. That is something that attracted me to Motherwell, I felt I could fit in well and settle quickly.
“After I signed I received a lot of messages from the fans – I tried to respond to as many as I could. Our fans work hard all week and in many ways live for the weekend – I want to be doing my best to make sure they have many good weekends.
“We all want to do our best for the club and if we do that then the supporters will get behind us.
“I’m so grateful to Bohs for giving me my opportunity and for everything they have done for me professionally and in my personal life. They gave me my opportunity and when I was going through a tough time personally a few years ago, they were fantastic in the way that they supported me.
“All of my family now support the club, in fact last year when I was playing for the Under 21s against Italy and Bohs were playing Shamrock Rovers on the same night – most of my family went to Dalymount Park instead of my game.
“That shows how much the club means to my family and I will always look back on my time there with great fondness. I also owe a lot to St Kevin’s Boys too for the part they have played in getting to me to where I am now.”
Tierney did not have to look far for examples of players from the League of Ireland who have made an impact in the Scottish Premiership.
Jamie McGrath’s performances for St Mirren led to his first senior caps for the Republic of Ireland, while Liam Scales and Johnny Kenny have signed for Celtic from Shamrock Rovers and Sligo Rovers respectively.
With five caps for the Irish Under 21 side, Tierney holds aspirations to follow in McGrath’s footsteps and break into Stephen Kenny’s senior squad, but insists there is a lot of work to be done if he is to achieve his goal.
“I know Jamie McGrath went to St Mirren and done well, that’s probably the best example of a League of Ireland player coming to Scotland and making an impact,” he added. “I have been playing for the Under 21s for and of course it would be brilliant to have the chance to play for the senior side, but I’m not getting carried away – that’s a long, long way right now.
“First of all I need to perform well for Motherwell and see where that takes me.”
Ross’ time at Bohemians ended in an agonising penalty shoot-out defeat at the hands of St Patrick’s Athletic in the Irish FA Cup final – meaning Bohs will miss out on participation in European competition next season.
Tierney has European experience having scored twice as the Irish side played their way through to the third qualifying round of the UEFA Europa Conference League, defeating Stjarnan, Dudelange and PAOK before eventually losing to the Greek side on aggregate.
His move to Fir Park comes amidst the team mounting a challenge for a European place, and having sampled the big match atmosphere of European nights last year, he is determined for the chance to create more memories.
“It was a shame to end my time with the club on that note, I’d have loved to have clinched a place in Europe for the club,” he reflected. “Jake Carroll was in my ear as soon as I arrived as he used to play with St Pat’s.
“The European nights with Bohs were unbelievable and I would love to experience that again with Motherwell. I’m hungry for more European nights, but we know that they won’t come until we perform on the pitch consistently.”
Celtic visit Fir Park this afternoon with Motherwell hoping to record a positive result against the Hoops for the first time in 10 meetings.
In the stands, Ross’ father will be torn between backing his son and his love for Ange Postecoglou’s side.
It will be a special occasion for the youngster and one that he hopes ends with holding the bragging rights over his old man.
“It is a fixture I’m really looking forward to,” the forward said. “My dad is over for the game and he is a big Celtic fan. I think he is in a no-lose situation for him.
“Hopefully I will have the bragging rights. It’s a big game for us and one that we are aiming to take something from to help us continue to challenge in the top half of the table.”