Motherwell V Ross County at Fir Park Stadium : Match Preview

21 March 2014 06:01
Motherwell V Ross County - view commentary, squad, and statistics of the game live.

McCall: No Hutchinson-Rangers link

Motherwell boss Stuart McCall admits he is losing his fight to keep Shaun Hutchinson at Fir Park, but does not think the out-of-contract defender is Rangers-bound.

The 23-year-old Englishman was this week linked with a summer move to Ibrox once his Well deal expires.

But Light Blues manager Ally McCoist - who raided the Steelmen's squad for midfielder Nicky Law in a similar swoop last year - refused to discuss the reports on Thursday.

As for McCall, he insists he has received no calls from his former Gers team-mate to let him know the new League One champions are ready to pinch another Well player at the end of this season.

Speaking ahead of Saturday's Scottish Premiership meeting with Ross County, he said: "It's news to Shaun and it's news to myself. As far as I believe Shaun has not been in touch with Rangers.

"I have discussed players with Coisty over the last two years but Hutchy's name has never come up.

"There's one lad playing for him at this minute in time that I had a chat with him about last summer, so I'm sure he would call this time, even if it was just to get a feel for a player's background. That's what I do when I'm trying to bring a player in.

"It's well-documented Coisty is talking to players and centre-back is an area he's looking at, but I think there's other centre-backs who are possibly (of more interest)."

Even if Rangers do not make a move, McCall acknowledged his chances of keeping hold of Hutchinson are slim.

He said: "I know his agent well and he's a good lad. I think that (leaving) is the route they are going to look at for the moment.

"But I have a meeting with our chief executive Leanne Dempster next week, where we will discuss budgets and what we can offer for next season. It's down to us to put an offer to Shaun.

"He hasn't knocked anything back yet because he's not been offered anything. However, I think it would be highly unlikely (that he would stay)."

McCall has welcomed Estonian striker Henri Anier back into his squad for Saturday's Scottish Premiership meeting with Ross County.

The former Viking Stavanger frontman has not featured for McCall's Well side since last February but will be in the squad for the Fir Park clash with the Staggies.

Goalkeeper Lee Hollis (broken finger), right-backs Fraser Kerr (ankle) and Simon Ramsden (knee), midfielder Paul Lawson (knee) and young striker Lee Erwin (knee) are all still out but should return to full fitness soon.

Ross County boss Derek Adams will have to do without five players.

Alex Cooper is suspended while Marc Klok, Stuart Kettlewell, Darren Maatsen and goalkeeper Michael Fraser are all injured.

Winger Graham Carey is back, however, after sitting out the 1-0 win over St Johnstone last week through suspension.

Ross County midfielder Filip Kiss insists the Staggies can shake off their travel sickness.

Adams' Dingwall outfit have been sucked into a relegation play-off battle on the back of just two wins away from home in the Scottish Premiership all season.

But there was success on the road as they raided Perth for three points with last week's 1-0 win over St Johnstone.

They now face a 370-mile round-trip to Fir Park this weekend but Kiss dismissed the suggestion that those kinds of gruelling journeys are to blame for their miserable record outside of the Black Isle.

Kiss - on loan from Cardiff - said: "I don't think the long journeys are a problem, we have showed on Saturday we can get points away from home.

"We have to travel long distances to every away game apart from Inverness. But that's the professional life of a footballer. We travel the day before the game and the staff at the club work hard to get us 100 per cent prepared for each game.

"So really there is no difference playing home or away.

"It's not something I have had to get used to because when I was with Cardiff, we always had long journeys before each match.

"We just need to show we are good enough on the day and I think we are. Now we need to prove that against Motherwell on Saturday."

Source: PA