Motherwell played seven matches last month, five in the SPFL and two in the Europa League. Given the huge turnover of players between the end of last season and the start of this current campaign we can take some comfort that the opening batch of games have left us in a healthy position in the table.
Much has been written of the loss of talent and the demands that would be placed on the ‘new’ team as the imports adjusted to life at Fir Park. They had to work with an unfamiliar management team and learn the way of their new team mates while under the pressure of competitive games.No more Saturday 5.30pm starts please!
A measure of the success of the new blend is that they have matched the points earned by last season’s high achievers in the games played to date. After five fixtures last year Murphy, Higdon, Law & Co were unbeaten with 2 wins and 3 draws. Sutton, Anier, McManus and pals have the same 9 points with 3 wins and 2 losses. On that basis we can judge McCall’s latest squad with cautious optimism.
It would be unfair to complain that we haven’t yet matched the style and flair that was a characteristic of the team that finished the league in second place. This group have a different set of skills and we have yet to see the best of them. Ainsworth’s pace adds an extra option and McFadden is, as yet, nowhere near the exciting player that delighted us earlier in the year.
Our new striking pair are finding the net, the back four seem to have found a way to eliminate the embarrassing leaks that were evident in Inverness and Hollis was mentioned in dispatches after the Kilmarnock game. All positive indications.
Self belief in the dressing room should be growing and we can look forward to the next batch of games with some confidence.