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Motherwell V Celtic at Fir Park Stadium : Match Preview

05 Dec 2013 17:01:00

Motherwell V Celtic at Fir Park Stadium : Match Preview

Motherwell V Celtic - view commentary, squad, and statistics of the game live.


McCall puts pain into perspective

Motherwell boss Stuart McCall says he cannot wallow in the pain of his side's shock William Hill Scottish Cup exit while nine families are coming to terms with the tragic Glasgow helicopter crash.


The Fir Park manager admits he struggled to get out of bed in the days that followed Saturday's last-gasp 1-0 defeat to local rivals Albion Rovers.


But the former Scotland midfielder says the fatal incident in nearby Glasgow which saw nine people lose their lives when a police helicopter crashed into the Clutha pub has put his troubles into perspective.


McCall said: "As proud and as happy as I was a few seasons ago when we managed to get to a Scottish Cup final for the first time in 20-odd years, it was nothing compared to how low I felt after last Saturday.


"We had a youth-team game the next day that I went to and to be honest, I'd have rather stayed in bed because I didn't want to face folk.


"But you have to put things in perspective. It was a horrendous result but you look at the terribly sad news that came out on Friday from Glasgow, then it doesn't compare. No one died at the game and we have got to move on."


Well looked set to take the fourth-round tie to a replay when Gary Phillips struck in the final minute to secure a famous win for the Steelmen's Lanarkshire neighbours.


McCall admitted Motherwell contributed to their own downfall but has now challenged his team to respond by beating Scottish Premiership champions Celtic when they host the Hoops on Friday night.


"I remember being a young boy as a Leeds fan and watching as we got beat by Colchester. I also remember Newcastle getting beat by Hereford, York City going to Old Trafford and beating Manchester United.


"Even this season, Morton went to Celtic Park and won after 120 minutes to record a real upset.


"So these things happen. We were not good enough. We didn't have enough people going past their opponents in one-on-one situations.


"We didn't deserve to lose the game but we certainly didn't deserve to win it. It looked like a 0-0 all over but you leave yourself open to a sucker punch.


"It's one of the worst results we've had as a club and one of the worst since I've been a manager. But it's about how you bounce back."


McCall has been forced to rule out four members of his squad for the game - but does at least welcome three other players back from injury.


Bob McHugh suffered a leg knock against Albion, while Zaine Francis-Angol (groin), Lee Erwin (knee) and goalkeeper Lee Hollis (ankle) are also unavailable.


However, he is boosted by the return of wide men Iain Vigurs (thigh) and Lionel Ainsworth (calf), as well as full-back Simon Ramsden (hamstring).


Meanwhile, Celtic manager Neil Lennon is looking to bring players in next month so his team can hit the ground running in the Champions League qualifiers - but he refused to say whether or not James Vaughan was among his targets.


Huddersfield manager Mark Robins this week warned Lennon that striker Vaughan was not for sale after Lennon watched his team play twice in four days.


But the Celtic manager remained coy when asked about the 25-year-old former Everton and Norwich forward, who has scored 12 goals for the Sky Bet Championship side this season.


"I've been watching a lot of players," said Lennon. "I'm not here to talk about one specific player. There were 22 players at Huddersfield-Burnley and 22 players at Bolton-Huddersfield. Maybe I wasn't specifically looking at James Vaughan.


"I've been linked with him and that's fine, people are putting two and two together.


"I have spoken to Mark Robins, I know Mark from my playing days. So it's not just James Vaughan I'm looking at but he is a player we think is a good player."


Celtic have a number of illness and injury problems for the Motherwell clash.


Tom Rogic (calf), Dylan McGeouch (ankle) and James Forrest (hamstring) are doubts while Georgios Samaras and Nir Biton have both missed training in the last two days with a virus.


Adam Matthews has returned to training following shoulder surgery but will not be involved while Beram Kayal (foot) and Steven Mouyokolo (Achilles) remain out.



PA

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