Scots job was news to us

Stuart Carswell
Stuart Carswell
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STUART Carswell admits the Motherwell players didn’t know manager Stuart McCall had been added to the Scotland set up until they saw the news on television.

New national team boss Gordon Strachan asked the 40-times capped midfielder to join former ’Well boss Mark McGhee in completing his backroom staff.

Carswell (19) said: “We didn’t really know until we saw it being reported on Sky Sports News so it was a surprise, but he deserves it as he’s done well here.

“Some people might say it is down to how we have played, but the gaffer has to take a lot of praise as he’s got all the boys working for him and for each other.”

McCall will be replacing his own assistant manager, Kenny Black, who performed a similar job for previous Scotland manager Craig Levein.

Fir Park midfielder Carswell revealed the players are all a little nervous about what Black will have in store in the manager’s absence for international matches.

He said: “The gaffer and Kenny have different styles as the gaffer likes to do more work with the ball while Kenny will just run you. So I don’t think everyone is too happy at that prospect!

“However, it’s just one in and one out, and it is great for a club like ours to continue to have someone involved in the Scotland set up.”

Scotland’s first opponents under the new regime will be Estonia in Aberdeen on Wednesday, February 6, which means McCall coming up against ’Well forward Henrik Ojamaa.

’Well were due to host Dundee United at Fir Park on Tuesday, but the match was called off due to a waterlogged pitch, and have no game this weekend because of the Scottish Cup programme, being next in action at Kilmarnock on February 9.

McCall has spoken of his pride at joining the Scotland set up and promised the international fixture would have no ill effects on his club’s preparations for games.

He said: “I am excited by this role and what it can do for me as a coach to help me at Motherwell.

“During Scotland fixtures most SPL sides, including ourselves, give the players a bit of time to recharge their batteries. I used to take training for a couple of days and then Kenny would be back so there are no issues.

“The Estonia game is on a Wednesday and I’ll be back in the office on Thursday morning, preparing for the game on Saturday. We don’t do any team shape until Thursday at the earliest anyway.

“The board not only let me do this but encouraged me and I think it can only bring positives.”

Motherwell’s match away to Hearts which was due to be played on Saturday (January 26) but was postponed due to the Tynecastle side’s involvement in the League Cup will take place on Saturday, March 2.