Motherwell skipper Carl McHugh: our squad is much stronger this year

Carl McHugh (right) runs off to celebrate with Peter Hartley after the defender had opened the scoring against Partick Thistle on Saturday
Carl McHugh (right) runs off to celebrate with Peter Hartley after the defender had opened the scoring against Partick Thistle on Saturday

Motherwell skipper Carl McHugh reckons the impressive strength in depth of ’Well’s squad  is ‘night and day’ compared to last season.

The 24-year-old Irishman was speaking after an easy 3-0 home win over Partick Thistle on Saturday put ’Well fifth in the Scottish Premiership.

“We’ve improved so much on last season but it is only a start,” said the former Bradford City ace.

“When you look at the competition and the players who haven’t came on, it shows the depth we have.

“The gaffer is going to pick different teams to win different games but it is looking positive.

“It’s a great help that we can throw on different players who make a big influence like Elliott Frear, Gael Bigirimana and Andy Rose have.

“It’s a healthy environment and everyone is pushing hard in training and in games – that’s when you have a chance of being successful.

“If the starting 11 picks itself that’s unhealthy and I think that was the case last year. You would know nine or ten of the starting 11 and that’s not the case this season.”

During a hectic summer transfer window, Motherwell manager Stephen Robinson signed 16 new players and sold or released 18 others.

But he’s clearly done an excellent job, as the team is younger, fitter, stronger and has infinitely more depth than last season which saw the club only just avoiding relegation.

New arrivals Trevor Carson (goalkeeper) and Cedric Kipre, Peter Hartley and Charles Dunne (centre backs) give ’Well a solid backline, with star striker Louis Moult backed up by partner Ryan Bowman who has been revitalised under gaffer Robinson.

And the midfield is also full of talent with McHugh, Chris Cadden, Craig Tanner, Elliott Frear, Gael Bigirimana and Allan Campbell, who has joined Cadden in being picked for the Scotland under-21s.

McHugh added: “Young Allan doesn’t need much mentoring, I’ll tell you that!

“He’s come in and been a breath of fresh air and he’s a pleasure to play with.

“He’s only a young boy but he’s going to get better and better because he’s got such a mature head on his shoulders.”

Due to the international break, ’Well are next in action at Hamilton Accies a week on Saturday.