Motherwell V Kilmarnock at Fir Park Stadium : Match Preview

28 March 2014 04:31
Motherwell V Kilmarnock - view commentary, squad, and statistics of the game live.

Well players may get Spanish deals

Motherwell manager Stuart McCall insists there is no rush to get his out-of-contract players signed up for next season.

And the Fir Park boss joked he would happily leave the negotiations until the end-of-term holiday jaunt abroad.

McCall persuaded skipper Keith Lasley and defender Steven Hammell to agree new contracts two years ago after plying them with drink on a trip to Magalluf.

He had hoped to begin talks with those whose deals expire in two months' time such as Lasley, Hammell, goalkeeper Lee Hollis, defenders Stephen McManus, Shaun Hutchinson, Fraser Kerr and Craig Reid, and midfielders James McFadden and Lionel Ainsworth already.

But he and chief executive Leeann Dempster have now decided to put off those discussions until the club gets a better idea of what prize money it can expect to receive from the Scottish Professional Football League.

The Well boss said: "I had a brief meeting with Leeann this week, mainly to discuss the young players who are out of contract.

"But we will discuss the other lads later, mainly because the size of the budget we will have depends on where we finish in the league. It won't make a massive difference though. The higher up we finish. the more money the club will get and slightly larger budget we will have.

"I will explain to the boys that there will be nothing happening in the next week but we won't be leaving it until the end of the season like we did last time.

"Is that a gamble? Well the lads whose deals are up know the position we are in. The likes of Las and Hammy, we had to take them to Magalluf to nail them down and get them signed. That was well after the season had finished.

"I'm now just waiting to decide where we are off to now for the contract talks. If I have to be dragged off to some place in Spain, then so be it."

Motherwell sit third in the Scottish Premiership, a point behind Aberdeen ahead of Saturday's visit of Kilmarnock to Fir Park.

McCall has told those players still waiting for a deal that a victory against Allan Johnston's men will help boost the cash pot he has got to work with.

"We'd like to give the lads the best offer we can," he said. "So there's a carrot in it for them. If we can finish higher up, then there might be a few more quid in it for them."

Motherwell talisman James McFadden has recovered from the hamstring strain which curtailed his involvement against Ross County last week to declare himself fit for weekend action.

Former Scotland forward McFadden will feature, as could young striker Lee Erwin (knee) and right-back Fraser Kerr (ankle) after both shook off knocks.

Kilmarnock's Rory McKenzie hopes the club can keep hold of prized asset Kris Boyd for next season - because the striker is making him look good.

Boyd - linked with a summer return to Rangers - has bagged 19 Scottish Premiership goals this season.

And 20-year-old winger McKenzie reckons having such a lethal frontman tucking away his crosses allows him to bask in the glory too.

He said: "Having Kris in there scoring so many goals makes my job easier.

"You know where he's going to be and as a winger putting balls into the box, you know he's going to be within the 18-yard box. You're going to get assists if you put a decent ball into the box because he's more than likely to score. He makes you look a better player.

"He's been doing it all season and I just need to keep providing him."

Boyd - the Scottish Premiership's record scorer - has been keeping tight-lipped on the rumours of a move back to Ibrox, despite his team-mates' best attempts to get an answer from him.

McKenzie said: "I travel up in the same car with him to training along with some of the other Ayrshire boys. Ross Barbour is having a go at him, asking what he's doing but he doesn't give much away. I don't think he tells anyone what going on.

"We want to keep hold of him but there can be life after Kris.

"We've had similar situations every season I've been here. When Craig Bryson left everyone was wondering what was going to happen the season after. Obviously it's going to be hard to replace Kris but there's player here that don't have the presence of Kris Boyd but can step up to the plate given the chance."

Killie face a nervous end ot the season as they battle to avoid the relegation play-off spot.

They sit three points above 11th-placed St Mirren but having lost back-to-back against Celtic and Aberdeen, now face another tough test against third-place Motherwell.

But McKenzie said: "I'd rather be playing in these games when relegation is at stake than under-20 matches. We're going to learn from this. After the split every game is going to be like a cup final. Obviously it's not the kind of games you want to play in being at the bottom end of the table but we know that if we can get through it, it can be a big bonus for us young boys next season.

"I think we've got more than a strong enough squad to get out of it and I think it'll benefit us in the future."

Kilmarnock will be without suspended skipper Manuel Pascali but boss Allan Johnston has midfielder James Fowler available after the 33-year-old completed his short-term loan stint with Cowdenbeath.

Source: PA