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Could Be Costly Friendly
While you want to get your players match fit there is always the danger you can lose them to injury
Motherwell are hoping that Stephen McManus and Shaun Hutchinson will be available for selection for Thursday's Europa League game after they both limped off in the game against Nottingham Forest. McManus walked off gingerly with a hip problem early in the second half of the home friendly while midfielder Vigurs and Hutchinson followed as a precautionary measure. Motherwell recovered from a slow start against the Championship side, who took an early lead through Matt Derbyshire, with Bob McHugh going close on several occasions before firing a late equaliser from 12 yards after good work from substitute Zaine Francis-Angol. After the game, McCall was not ruling anyone out of Thursday's third qualifying round tie against Russian side Kuban Krasnodar.Manager Stuart McCall said: "Stephen was just an impact. The boy ran into him and 10 seconds later the ball was shot at him and he was just off balance. I think if it had been a league game he would have carried on. You can't afford to take any chances. Hopefully Hutchy just has a bit of cramp in the calf rather than a strain. Again, the ball hit him. Vigurs had a tight groin but we're hopeful all of them will be fine for Thursday."One player who was substituted and was not happy was James McFadden. He was replaced midway through the second half when he wanted his first full game of pre-season ahead of the Russian side's visit. McCall said: "He had 45 (minutes) against Newcastle and only 25 last week. As much as he wanted to stay on, he had 63 minutes there. You can't just go from playing 25 minutes to 90 because there's a chance, when you're tired, that's when your muscles can strain. But he's working towards it so he'll be fine."McCall could call Henri Anier into his squad for Thursday's game after the Estonian striker agreed a six-month loan from Viking Stavanger. McCall said: "Henri Anier will join us on Monday and if I can manage to get a wide player in, it won't be before Thursday - but I'll be more than happy with what we have got."While Motherwell are adding to their squad, news came through from Russia that Kuban had lost midfielder Aras Ozbiliz to Spartak Moscow in a big-money move. McCall said: "It's good news in one way if it's true. It's bad news because I had done an hour's edit on him and highlighted him as the danger man who was going to rip us apart. But, seriously, if he has definitely gone, it will be good news."
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