Next up - Ross County
Motherwell travel to Dingwall on Saturday hoping for the boost that would come from a first league win at the Victoria Park. Fans and players are still hurting from the last two defeats and a good performance is needed to begin the healing process.
There have been five meetings against Ross County and apart from the first (0-0 on the opening day of last season) all have gone with home advantage. Can we record the first away win between the teams? The relative league positions would suggest that a Motherwell win is possible. We are six places above them and they have managed only one draw and four losses in their last five games. That dismal spell might put our troubles in perspective.
Both camps will have spent the week trying to lift the gloom and it may be that the avoidance of defeat will win the day as the preferred strategy. County have the comfort of a 14 point buffer over Hearts but they won't want to rest in the play-off spot if it can be avoided. Motherwell are assured of top six status for a few more weeks but the drop of two places after recent results is one that needs to be reversed.
Derek Adams bemoaned his side's defensive frailties after losing to Kilmarnock and his comment that "this season was always going to be survival for a club of this size" gives us a glimpse to his thoughts on the game. They lined up in 4-5-1 formation at home and gave Killie their first away win of the season and the 2-1 result flattered County.
Defensive concerns will also be in Stuart McCall's mind. The concession of four to Dundee United, five to Celtic and one to Albion Rovers will cast a shadow for the rest of the campaign but the return to our preferred back four of Ramsden, McManus, Hutchinson and Hammell should provide some stability. We are still short of the creativity that gives confidence in attack and we need the likes of McFadden or Ainsworth to make a telling contribution. Will Lawson and Vigurs step up for their return to Victoria Park? Maybe the chance to score against their former team mates will draw the best from them.
With both teams desperate to find some form as feisty encounter is expected but the fear of losing might make a share of the points more likely. The draw is available at 12/5 and a fair return could be had for a 1-1 result.
Remember our last visit to Ross County?
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