Brown Not On The Batter

12 March 2010 08:35
Craig Brown is old school and wants to spare the rod till pre-season. Craig Brown never gives the impression of being the adventurous type so it is no surprise that he is looking at the long term return when making his squad selections. The Motherwell squad will be more like 'his' when they start the 2010 11 campaign. The other half of the Fir Park 'good cop, bad cop' double act, assistant manager Archie Knox, wants to own the side now and wants to "batter" the Fir Park players in training to get them ready for the run-in.  Brown rested striker Jamie Murphy from Tuesday's goalless draw with Falkirk after netting in Motherwell's previous three games, while top scorer Lukas Jutkiewicz remained on the bench despite recovering from a knee problem. Brown is conscious that Motherwell's competitive season started way back on 2 July when the side were involved in a six-game European run and does not to be guilty of overworking his players. However, he knows that he has to name what he considers his strongest team for the visit of Hearts to Fir Park on Saturday. A positive result for the home side could all but secure their top-six place in the SPL. Brown said: "We had a different shape against St Mirren but it was really designed to preserve the legs of some of the lads. We kept Jutkiewicz out to give him extra recovery time and we rested Keith Lasley, who has been excellent for us, and Murphy. It didn't help our performance, I've got to admit, so we've got the resources available for Saturday and hopefully we'll play better. Motherwell have played more games than any other team and therefore we can't be overburdening the main players. We had to leave some of the players out of the side. We've been very careful with them in training. My colleague Archie wants to, as he says, batter them in training and get them super-fit. We'll do that next season. We have to pace training accordingly and there is the danger of the small squad we have got getting leg-weary. But I think we're experienced enough to know how much work to give them to ensure they are suitably refreshed for each match." Brown has been working hard off the field to make what he describes as "big progress" in the quest to secure the future of his first-team squad, most of whom are out of contract in the summer. He said: "We would like to the whole first-team squad to remain here". One successful piece of work is with midfielder Steve Jennings who Brown has already spoken to and the former Tranmere player is keen to stay at Fir Park after making a big impression during Motherwell's 11-game unbeaten run in the SPL. Jennings said: "Hopefully we can get something sorted and I can sign for another couple of years here. I am more than happy to do that if the circumstances are right because I'm really enjoying my football." Editor Ger Harley (ger@scottishfitba net)Admin Team (admin@scottishfitba net)This is Scottish-Fitba.Net