McCall fancies a trip to the valleys

David Clarkson joins Motherwell defender Stephen McManus to watch the Queen's Baton Relay in Bothwell
David Clarkson joins Motherwell defender Stephen McManus to watch the Queen's Baton Relay in Bothwell

Motherwell manager Stuart McCall admits he would rather face a trip to Wales than head to Iceland in the Europa League qualifiers.

’Well face the winners of Bangor City versus Stjarnan in the second qualifying round on July 17 and 24, but with the Icelandic season already up and running, McCall is in no doubts which tie he’d prefer.

He said: “In previous years we’ve played games at 10 or 11pm in 90 degree temperatures and I wouldn’t have thought either Wales or Iceland will be anything like that.

“The travelling will be easier, but you look at the Icelandic team and they’ve gone something like 10 games undefeated and play on astroturf, I don’t need to mention the last time we played a cup game on astroturf.

“There’s no real preference as to who we face, however the Icelandic season will have been going for 11 or 12 games by the time we could face them and as I say they have the plastic pitch.

“I don’t know enough about the relative qualities of the two sides, but those two reasons would just lean me towards the Welsh, although not to say I think it will be an easier game by any means.”

McCall is currently on the hunt for a new striker to replace Henri Anier and could be set to welcome back former Fir Park favourite David Clarkson who has been invited to ’Well’s pre-season training camp in Portugal.

Clarkson (28) is a free agent after spending five years in England with Bristol City, Bristol Rovers and Brentford.

He said: “I spent many happy years at Motherwell and if something was on the table I’d be very happy to hear what they had to say.”