East Fife V Motherwell at Bayview Stadium : Match Preview

24 August 2015 05:31
East Fife V Motherwell - view commentary, squad, and statistics of the game live.

Baraclough wants more resilience

Motherwell manager Ian Baraclough has challenged his players to show more mental resilience as they bid to end a four-game losing run in the "unwelcoming" environs of Bayview.

Motherwell lost a lead for the second week in succession when they conceded two goals in the final quarter against St Johnstone on Saturday.

The positivity at Fir Park following Motherwell's play-off triumph over Rangers and opening-day win over Inverness has taken a major hit and defeat in the League Cup second round against East Fife could see it disappear.

"It's a concern," Baraclough said of his side's run. "Four games on the bounce is not a comfortable place for any club to be in. For two-thirds of that game on Saturday we were the dominant force, then it switched. We have to be stronger.

"There's a frustration that we have not turned our performances into results, which is what you are judged on.

"We have to be stronger as a group, mentally. When you take the lead again and you let it slip, you let the other team gain momentum. That can't happen consistently.

"We challenge the players to be strong mentally as well as physically fit.

"It's not just about being in possession in football, it's out of possession as well. Both sides of the game have to be done very, very well to go and win games of football."

Baraclough knows that will apply to his first encounter in Methil on Tuesday night against Gary Naysmith's Ladbrokes League Two side.

"You do your research and it's going to be a place that is certainly going to be unwelcoming," he said.

"You're going to have to go and battle and scrap and make sure you earn possession, and when you get possession you use it right."

East Fife player-manager Gary Naysmith will not risk Stevie Campbell as he is short of match practice following ankle surgery in the summer.

Naysmith's only other selection dilemma is the availability of loan defender Jason Kerr, with his parent club St Johnstone set to advise the Bayview boss if he can play on Tuesday.

Naysmith said: "Motherwell are a well-established Premiership side so there is no expectation on us to win this game. That is a good position to be in and hopefully the players can relax and show what they can do.

"We will look to progress, however the pressure is on Motherwell to win and not us."

Source: PAR