Stuart Kettlewell reacts to the 1-1 draw with St Johnstone.
- Accountability taken for the goal
- Digging in once again
- Have to find the right balance
Stuart Kettlewell reacts to the 1-1 draw with St Johnstone.
Motherwell rescued a point with yet another goal in additional time as Bevis Mugabi’s own goal almost presented St Johnstone with all three points.
Despite repeatedly lamenting the loss of goals to set pieces, a cross into the box led to Bevis Mugabi deflecting the ball into his own net to give Saints the lead at the start of the second half.
However, in the first minute of added on time Mika Biereth leapt to head home his sixth goal of the season and grab the home side a point when his team seemed destined to finish empty handed.
Stuart Kettlewell, in an attempt to rediscover their winning form, was hindered in his selection by injury and suspension, particularly in front of Liam Kelly.
That forced a back three of Stephen O’Donnell, Bevis Mugabi and Shane Blaney, faced with the task of shoring up a defence which has conceded the most goals in the cinch Premiership. In front of them, Davor Zdravkovski and Georgie Gent were given their first starts of the season.
Craig Levein set up Saints with two up front clearly intent on testing the new look ‘Well defence from the start.
In a scrappy opening 20 minutes it reflected on two teams at the wrong end of the league table as both sets of players were guilty of misplaced passes and petty fouls.
Not for the last time, referee Euan Anderson ignored a challenge on Brodie Spencer at the edge of the box which ultimately allowed Graham Carey to test Kelly from 20 yards.
Almost immediately, Gent, revelling in a natural left wing role, earned ‘Well’s first corner as he powered towards the Saints’ byeline.
In the 27th minute the on-loan Blackburn defender latched on to a cross from Spencer and Gent’s powerful left foot volley took a deflection off James Brown before forcing Mitov to save low in front of his right post.
A couple of minutes later Jon Obika broke through the middle but with Biereth in support he elected to shoot from 18 yards, his weak effort posing no problems for the ‘keeper.
As the game continued to flow towards the Saints goal, Mirov got down to block Blair Spittal’s low drive after Callum Slattery had set him up at the edge of the box.
Although little had been seen of Biereth, his powerful run towards the six-yard box forced a last gasp tackle from Ryan McGowan as ‘Well ended the first half in control and only lacking a goal their first half performance possibly deserved.
Motherwell restarted on the front foot and after five minutes fine build up on the right ended with Mitov firmly holding Slattery’s curling shot from 20 yards.
Two minutes later, though, the Steelmen once again shot themselves in the foot from a set piece.
The ‘Well defence looked organised as Matt Smith floated a free kick into a packed box. But as Kelly raced out beyond his six-yard box to claim the ball it sped past him rebounding of the helpless Mugabi and into his own net to concede a horrible opening goal.
That knocked the wind and any confidence out of the home side as they pushed towards Saints’ goal more in hope than anything else.
With 20 minutes remaining Oli Shaw replaced Obika as ‘Well desperately searched for an equaliser.
However, it was the Perth side who almost found the net again when Carey’s curling free kick skipped off the top of the cross bar with Kelly stretching to tip it over.
As the clock moved toward the last ten minutes Theo Bair and Conor Wilkinson were given the chance to salvage something from the game.
Bair made an immediate impact collecting the ball on the right and dragging it across the box before his drive forced Mitov to save low to his right.
The ‘Well sub produced a second save from the ‘keeper when Biereth’s lob into the box gave Bair a free header from eight yards but once again Mitov denied him with a comfortable save.
Then in added time Bair turned provider. From wide left he fired the ball across goal to find Biereth rising high to bullet a stunning header high into the corner for a last gasp equaliser.
Callum Slattery reiterated the apology to supporters for their result against Ross County.
The midfielder tells us how the group is still together in the dressing room and that it is up to the players to get the club out of this run that it is in. Slattery says the team need to give the supporters to something to get behind for them to fully back the team.
Stuart Kettlewell reiterated how poor a performance Tuesday was against Ross County and that stark improvements are required.
The Motherwell boss says he will take his side back to basic preparation in the quest of simplifying the matches. Kettlewell is aware of the pressure building on his and his team’s shoulders but insists that this is something they all can deal with as they are all together.
Stuart Kettlewell has provided a squad update following our match against Ross County.
The manager updates following Dan Casey and Calum Butcher coming off injured in the Highlands on Tuesday night.
“Dan had an X-Ray and it doesn’t look as severe as we first thought,” Stuart Kettlewell said.
“There is no fracture so now he will receive further scans to see if there is muscle or ligament damage. It’s not as bad as first feared which is a positive but he’s going to be out for a period of time.
“Calum Butcher came off because he felt his calf, which is another blow.
“Again, it’s a bit early to say. He needs a scan to define how bad the damage is. But, if Calum Butcher comes off it would suggest it’s going to be enough to keep him out for a few weeks anyway.
“Paul McGinn got sent for an update last week. It was initially said he would be 6-weeks post operation, whilst still wearing a mask. They didn’t feel he was in a position to play on Tuesday so he still sits on that timeline.”
Lennon Miller remains sidelined due to a broken patella suffered at the start of November while Pape Souare is also missing due to a serious ankle injury with associated fracture.
St Johnstone are the visitors to Fir Park on Saturday in the cinch Premiership.
Kick off is 3pm.
|Hunter Stand||O’Donnell, Cooper, McLean Stand|
– Concessions Tickets would be ages 65 and over and FT Students with a valid matric card.
– Young Adults tickets would ages 12 to 17.
– Juveniles would be 11 and under
Supporters are able to buy tickets online here or visit the ticket office at Fir Park.
Ticket Office open from 9am – the ticket office is open until kick-off with no pay gate facility.
If you are outside the UK, you can watch the game via Motherwell TV.
Should you be in the UK, it will be live commentary only.
We will be wearing our home kit for this match.
Pape Souare and Lennon Miller remain sidelined.
Dan Casey and Harry Paton are suspended for this match.
Paul McGinn won’t return in time from his broken cheekbone injury.
Calum Butcher came off against Ross County with a suspected calf injury and will miss this match.
It was a trip to the highlands to forget for Motherwell on Tuesday night, as they were beaten comfortably 3-0 by Ross County.
The Steelmen have four draws and eight defeats in their last 12 as they go in search of their first win since September.
St Johnstone and Motherwell met in Craig Levein’s first match in charge in November. St Johnstone took a handsome 2-0 lead into the interval before Shane Blaney and Mika Biereth sparked a second half comeback to earn a point.
Levein has two wins since he took the reigns in Perth and has amassed seven points out of a possible 18.
Currently (Wednesday), St Johnstone sit below Motherwell in the table, in 11th on 11 points.
Graham Carey has proven to be a pivotal player for Craig Levein since his arrival due to Carey’s precise and dangerous delivery into the box.
He got his first goal of the season against Ross County last month.
Stuart Kettlewell discusses the defeat to Ross County.
• Apology to supporters
• Miles off the standard
• Deserved to lose
Motherwell’s trip to the Highlands ended in defeat, with Ross County running out comfortable 3-0 winners.
First half goals from Simon Murray and Yan Dhanda, matched with a second half Ben Purrington finish rounding off a win for the home side.
Stuart Kettlewell made three changes from the side that drew with Dundee three days prior, with Conor Wilkinson, Theo Bair and Callum Slattery coming into the starting 11.
The home side got off to the perfect start when Murray headed home from a corner after just three minutes.
Despite the slow start, the Steelmen pressed for an equaliser with Stephen O’Donnell seeing his effort from inside the box saved by the feet of County keeper Ross Laidlaw, following a Slattery strike from the edge of the box.
County went in search of doubling their lead, and did just that on 18 minutes. Dhanda picked up the ball before drifting inside and firing into the far corner of the goal.
It was almost 3-0 before half time, when Simon Murray’s deflected effort came crashing off the post, with Kelly left stranded.
Stuart Kettlewell opted to make wholesale changes at the break, with the introduction of Davor Zradvkovski, Georgie Gent and Calum Butcher.
Despite the changes, the ball was in Liam Kelly’s net on 56 minutes when Purrington had the simplest of tasks to finish from the rebound of Jordan White’s header. Although initially flagged for offside, VAR overruled the on-field decision and it was game over for Motherwell.
Mika Biereth was unfortunate not to find himself on the scoresheet. The Dane seen his flicked effort from Gent’s cross go agonisingly wide of the post before his strike was somehow cleared off the line by Jack Baldwin.
Gent also went close with a header at the back post, but Laidlaw denied.
Will Nightingale seen red in stoppage time, who received two quickfire yellow cards. Dan Casey looked to have picked up a bad leg injury with almost the last kick of the game following a collision in the corner, with Butcher also coming off with a suspected calf injury.
Jon Obika is chuffed to be back playing once again after his long injury lay off.
The striker got his first start against Dundee at the weekend and although on a personal level their was positives, he says the team are really striving for that victory against Ross County on Tuesday night.
It was another late comeback for Motherwell in their last outing against Dundee, and despite showing strong character once again, the manager would rather see his side manage the game far better than they did.
A trip to Dingwall is next in the cinch Premiership and Kettlewell wants to see his team’s game management improve as they aim to bounce back with a win.