Motherwell V Dundee Utd at Fir Park Stadium : Match Preview

06 November 2012 06:31
Motherwell V Dundee Utd - view commentary, squad, and statistics of the game live.

Hammell: McCall decision good news for Motherwell

Motherwell defender Steven Hammell has expressed relief after manager Stuart McCall ruled himself out of the running for the vacant Scotland job ahead of Wednesday's rearranged clash with Dundee United.

The Fir Park boss was tipped as an outsider by bookmakers to succeed sacked Craig Levein, but has said he feels the position has come 10 years too soon for him.

Hammell has every faith in McCall's ability to manage the national team one day, but is pleased the manager is going nowhere for the time being.

He said: "It is a relief because the players here enjoy working with him.

"From a selfish point of view, we want him to stay here as long as he can because he's a top manager.

"Maybe one day in his career he probably will end up as Scotland manager if he keeps doing well.

"It's good news for us to hear he's not in the running for it.

"He's a top manager, a top coach. He's great to work with and the players love working with him.

"I'm sure he will go on to have a successful managerial career at club level and then I could definitely see him being national team coach one day."

Hammell earned his only cap for Scotland in a 4-1 defeat to Sweden in November 2004.

Asked who he would like to take on the role as manager, he said: "An experienced manager. Gordon Strachan's name has been linked with it. Anybody apart from the gaffer."

Motherwell host Dundee United in a rearranged fixture after the original game was abandoned.

Hammell expects both sides to head into the clash full of confidence following recent results.

The Steelmen picked up a morale-boosting 3-1 win against St Johnstone, while United fought back from behind to earn a last-gasp draw against Celtic.

Hammell said: "The win on Saturday was important for us. We needed it to keep pace with the teams around us and above us.

"We go into the Dundee United game full of confidence. They might be the same, with the way they ended the Celtic game.

"It looked like they were heading for a defeat and they turned it around in the last five minutes and showed great character to get a draw.

"They will be coming here on the back of a good result as well."

Dundee United manager Peter Houston wants his side to build on their late Celtic comeback.

The Tannadice club fought back from 2-0 down in the closing minutes to secure a 2-2 draw against all the odds in last Sunday's match with the champions to hand them the perfect lift for their trip to Lanarkshire.

And Houston, whose team have picked up in recent weeks with a run of three games unbeaten in the league, reckons Sunday's share of the spoils and the manner in which they achieved it should give them every confidence for facing Stuart McCall's men.

Houston said: "It's always a boost when you've come back from behind in any game and get a draw like we did on Sunday.

"We felt we were very worthy of it on the day and now it's just a case of trying to build on it going into the Motherwell game.

"It's four games now since we lost that terrible game up in Inverness and we've been working hard and are reaping our rewards.

"We're in the middle of a hectic spell with one game coming quickly after the other but the boys are relishing it all.

"Sometimes they feel better playing rather than training and this Motherwell game can't come quickly enough."

Houston knows Fir Park has been a tough venue for his Tangerines team in the past, especially with the Steelmen having recaptured form lately following a dip.

And he insists they are fully prepared for the challenge which lies ahead against Stuart McCall's men.

He said: "We know to expect nothing other than a very hard game.

"We had (assistant manager) Paul Hegarty at their game at the weekend and he witnessed a very good performance.

"They're a very capable side when you look at the front four they've got, like (Jamie) Murphy, (Chris) Humphrey, (Michael) Higdon, and (Henrik) Ojamaa."

Source: PA