Tie too close to call for hero Russell

Bobby Russell (back) helps Motherwell assistant Tam Forsyth (left) and manager Tommy Mclean (right) welcome Davie Cooper to Fir Park.
Bobby Russell (back) helps Motherwell assistant Tam Forsyth (left) and manager Tommy Mclean (right) welcome Davie Cooper to Fir Park.

FORMER Motherwell and Rangers star Bobby Russell admits he will struggle to pick a winner when the sides go head to head in the Scottish Communities League Cup later this month.​

’Well’s visit to Ibrox on Wednesday, September 26, will be the first time Ally McCoist’s side will have faced SPL opposition since their demotion to Division 3 over the summer.

Russell is impressed with the job Stuart McCall has done at Fir Park, but says no one should pretend ’Gers are a fourth tier side.

He said: “It is certainly an interesting draw as on paper you have the side at the top of the SPL against a team from the bottom league, but I don’t think anyone is under illusion that Motherwell are really playing a Third Division side.

“Given the players Rangers have brought in and the fact that the game is at Ibrox, I’m sure some will think the home team favourites, but for me it’s a toss-up.

“I have been really impressed with the job Stuart McCall has done at Fir Park with very limited resources. As a player he always wore his heart on his sleeve and I suspect he is like that as a manager too. I’m sure he commands the full respect of all his players.

“With quality in the likes of Jamie Murphy and experience such as Keith Lasley I see no reason why they can’t get a result at Ibrox.”

Russell arrived at Fir Park in 1987 and two years later was joined by former Rangers colleague Davie Cooper.

He said: “I honestly believe my presence at Fir Park helped Davie make up his mind to go there and I was delighted to team up with him again as he was such a wonderful player.”

Unfortunately Russell missed the 1991 Scottish Cup final victory through injury, something he still bitterly regrets.

He said: “I had an injection in my knee for the first semi-final against Celtic, but in training before the replay it just collapsed and I was forced to have an operation.

REGRET

“I had won the cup three times with Rangers, but it’s probably my biggest regret that I couldn’t do it with Motherwell. There was even an open bus tour through the town, we never got that in Glasgow.”

Russell is a patron of the proposed Davie Cooper Centre in Clydebank for children with special needs and is taking part in the ‘Walk with Euan’ next month to raise funds for the centre. For more information visit www.thedaviecoopercentre.org.

Motherwell return to action after the international break on Saturday as they travel to Dens Park to take on Dundee.

’Well top the SPL and are unbeaten domestically, but will have to be wary as the league’s new boys beat Hearts last time out.