Show no mercy to cup minnows

PIC ALAN WATSON -  MOTHERWELL V INVERNESS CALEY THISTLE - MCCALL
PIC ALAN WATSON - MOTHERWELL V INVERNESS CALEY THISTLE - MCCALL

Motherwell manager Stuart McCall will play his strongest team in Saturday’s Scottish Cup tie at Stranraer to ensure there is no chance of a shock.

Despite playing four games in 12 days, McCall says his tired players can rest after disposing of the Third Division high-fliers.

He said: “I don’t know a lot about Stranraer, but Gordon Young, Kenny Black and Bobby Jenks have all watched them in recent weeks so we will be well-prepared.

“In the last round against Dundee some people may have expected a shock, but we prepared properly and showed the correct attitude for the game. That’s exactly what we have to do again this time - preparation is the key.

“I know some of the guys have played a lot of football recently, but other than those on international duty they have no game next midweek and that will give them a chance to rest and recuperate.

“As far as I’m concerned I will be putting out my strongest team and I want the game killed early to ensure Stranraer have no way of coming back.”

Despite identifying five different targets, including Rangers-bound David Healy, McCall was unable to bring in the striker he wanted by the transfer deadline on Monday night, but was able to secure defensive cover as 20-year-old Gavin Gunning joined on loan from Blackburn Rovers for the rest of the season.

Meanwhile, winger Chris Humphrey has pledged his future to the club, signing a contract extension until 2013.

Full story in February 3 edition of Times & Speaker