McGhee: Samson to be number one next season

Mark McGhee says Craig Samson will be Motherwell's first choice between the sticks next season (Pic by Alan Watson)
Mark McGhee says Craig Samson will be Motherwell's first choice between the sticks next season (Pic by Alan Watson)

Motherwell manager Mark McGhee has revealed that Craig Samson will be his first choice between the sticks for ’Well next season.

Samson (32) played second fiddle to the now departed Connor Ripley for virtually all of the last campaign before playing in wins over Hearts and Ross County after the split. The former Kilmarnock keeper recently signed a new one-year contract upon the expiry of his previous deal.

“Samson is an experienced keeper and he will start next season as our number one,” McGhee said.

“What he did in supporting Connor last season was terrific.

“Sammy was so professional about it, so helpful.

“We’ll obviously bring in another keeper to put pressure on him.”

But, contrary to speculation, that new signing between the sticks WON’T be freed Hearts star Neil Alexander (38), as McGhee said he was looking for a more youthful keeper.

Although he wasn’t willing to name names, McGhee said he was confident of signing a total of four new players in the coming days.

“I’m looking to improve the team with these signings,” McGhee said.

“I expect all of these guys to go straight into the team.

“I think they will improve us throughout.”

McGhee said he was “hopeful” that out of contract veterans Keith Lasley and Stevie Hammell would follow the leads of Samson, David Ferguson, Craig Moore and Stephen McManus by signing new deals with Motherwell.

“Negotiations with their representatives are continuing,” McGhee said.

And the Fir Park gaffer stressed that he had no concerns about striker Scott McDonald leaving as he was “in essence under contract”, having last summer signed a one-year contract with the option of a further year.

McGhee was similarly upbeat when asked if the club’s well documented cost cutting measures may result in a star player like Marvin Johnson or Louis Moult being sold this summer.

“Nobody will have to be sold,” he said.

“We want to build the team around guys like Marvin, Louis and Chris Cadden.

“We are not openly trying to sell them.”