McCall puts faith in Hollis
Motherwell boss Stuart McCall has total confidence in second-choice goalkeeper Lee Hollis ahead of their Scottish Cup clash against Aberdeen.
Hollis will play for the first time in 14 months at Pittodrie after Darren Randolph was handed a two-match ban for his clash with Hearts striker Callum Paterson. The 24-year-old has rarely been seen in a Motherwell jersey since his move from Airdrie in summer 2010. He made his debut in a 4-0 defeat at Celtic Park six days before the teams met in the 2011 cup final and played in a victory over Clyde by the same scoreline in the Scottish League Cup last season. But McCall insisted he had "100%" confidence in the player for the fourth-round clash.
"Lee got a two-year deal in the summer and he has only played a couple of times for us," the Fir Park boss said.
"That's how much faith we have in him. "Every team I've been at, when you have eight-a-sides normally a team will want to be with the first-choice goalkeeper.
"For example at Rangers, you had Andy Goram and at half-time you didn't want to change around.
"Here it doesn't matter if Darren is in goal or Lee is in goal because Lee is excellent at shot-stopping.
"Lee has been a great number two because he has pushed Darren all the way, hence Darren's consistency levels have been first class. He has an excellent temperament, I have no worries at all of him playing.
"Even at Parkhead, although we lost four goals it could have been eight or nine other than Lee, and he played against Clyde and was terrific as well.
"It's not as though he is a young boy. Although he has not had a lot of match experience, he has a good head for it." McCall had no complaints over Randolph's ban, despite the club sending goalkeeping coach Gordon Marshall to Hampden to fight his case, but he was surprised that Scottish Football Association compliance officer Vincent Lunny had instigated action after referee Crawford Allan took none during the game.
"I thought if the referee sees it, then he deems the punishment," McCall said.
"We got done last season for Steve Jennings and big (Michael) Higdon for things the referee has not seen.
"That was my only doubt but apparently the referee can look at it again from different angles and possibly come up with the right decision.
"The one thing I can say is it wouldn't have been a penalty because the boy Paterson was a yard offside when the shot came in."
Motherwell have not lost in the SPL against Aberdeen since 2008, before Mark McGhee and later Craig Brown left the club to take over at Pittodrie. But they were knocked out by the Dons in the quarter-finals last season and missed the chance to go top of the table in their most recent visit to the Granite City, when they lost a 3-1 lead in the final stages. Captain Keith Lasley said:
"That was probably one of the most disappointing afternoons I have had, or an end to an afternoon.
"The game itself was great and it was one of our best performances of the season, yet we felt so bad afterwards. It felt like a defeat and it was really gutting going back down on the bus.
"But we take great heart from the performance that day, and on pervious occasions we have been up there in the last couple of seasons we have done pretty well.
"It certainly wouldn't have been our first-choice draw but I'm sure Aberdeen are thinking the same. It's two evenly-matched teams who are doing well in the league."
Motherwell also arguably have the added bonus of being away - five of their six victories this season have come on their travels.
"It's funny saying that, having the away advantage, but it's true at the moment," Lasley said.
"We can't get away from the fact that home results haven't been great. Some of the performances have been better than the results show, some haven't, but away from home away both performances and results have been good.
"So we go in with confidence, the wins at Inverness, St Johnstone and Dundee United were all at teams who had been on good runs."
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