McGhee: second half was excruciating

Mark McGhee has watched the last three Motherwell matches (including the abandoned one at Pittodrie) from a stand (Pic by Alan Watson)
Mark McGhee has watched the last three Motherwell matches (including the abandoned one at Pittodrie) from a stand (Pic by Alan Watson)

Motherwell gaffer Mark McGhee served the second game of his touchline ban during the 1-1 draw against St Johnstone in Perth on Saturday.

And McGhee – banned from the dugout for his aggressive behaviour towards a match official and steward in the recent game at Dundee – didn’t particularly relish watching the Scottish Premiership clash from the McDiarmid Park press box.

“I enjoyed the first half not the second half,” McGhee said.

“The second half was excruciating. But the first half was all right, I thought we approached it the right way.

“I think we ran out of energy in the second half. We had three or four who haven’t trained all week and who played today and I think we showed that in the second half because they (St Johnstone) piled onto us.

“We kind of found it difficult to get up the park. So I’m satisfied with a draw but no I don’t particularly enjoy going up there (the press box).”

McGhee said that ’Well’s below full fitness stars – two of whom are Scott McDonald and Stephen McManus – wouldn’t be affected by their niggles in the remaining three league games this year as they were “getting over the knocks” and would benefit from returning to full training this week.

“The game will help them back up to the fitness I’m talking about that we’ve had in recent weeks,” he said.

McGhee said he felt Motherwell could have had a penalty in the second half for handball by Saints defender Joe Shaughnessy after a Richard Tait cross from the right.

“I’ve seen it on tape three or four times,” McGhee said.

“And it’s inconclusive. The lad Shaughnessy’s hands are above his head. It looks as if it might have hit his arm but there’s no solid contact. It’s not really changed the direction of the ball but I think there is a danger that when he sticks his hands up he could get a penalty against him.”

McGhee said he felt it was a decent point for Motherwell.

“I would have taken a point on the way up here to be honest,” he said.

“Given that our left side was improvised with young Ferguson, young Jack and Scott McDonald, who’s a centre forward, I think coming here and getting a point is decent.”