’Well claim an assist over Shaun strike

Shaun Maloney celebrates his goal against Ireland
Shaun Maloney celebrates his goal against Ireland

Motherwell caretaker boss Kenny Black afforded himself a wee smile as Shaun Maloney scored Scotland’s winner against Ireland on Friday.

The move which saw Maloney play 1-2s with Ikechi Anya and Scott Brown before curling the ball into the net, as Scotland boss Gordon Strachan admitted, had come straight off the ’Well training pitch.

Black said: “It was something we tried a few times of getting two or three men out to the ball at a corner in order to create different possibilities.

“I’m not sure if we ever scored from it, but I allowed myself a wee smile when I saw what Maloney was doing and it was great goal.

“Certainly it is something Stuart McCall will have brought to the squad and it is always gratifying as a coach or manager when something you have introduced works.”

’Well return to domestic action on Saturday when they face the long trip to Inverness, eager to build on their victory over Dundee United.

However, they don’t have their troubles to seek as the Fir Park treatment room once again resembling an episode of Casualty.

Henrik Ojamaa and Gunnar Nielsen have returned from international duty with knocks while three U20s games last week all took their toll.

Jack Leitch has been forced to undergo a knee injury and while he is the most serious Bob McHugh, Stevie Hammell, Craig Reid, Craig Moore and Paul Lawson are all struggling for Saturday.

Black said: “The idea of these U20 games is to give the guys who haven’t been playing regularly a run out, but it obviously hasn’t worked out well for us.

“However, we played well against Dundee United to win in our last match so we have plenty of confidence prior to heading north and are eager to build on that and bring three points back down the road.”