Baraclough left looking to find perfect balance

Ian Baraclough
Ian Baraclough

Motherwell manager Ian Baraclough admits there was a ‘glaring void’ on the left needing filled as he snapped up Stephen Pearson.

Baraclough said: “Stephen has been with us for a week, he’s bright and fit and goes straight into the squad for the trip to Celtic.

“He’s someone who gives us energy from midfield, understands the game and has got the experience and know how to win games of football.”

Baraclough is familiar with Person from his spells with Derby County, Stoke City and Bristol City in England and even kept tabs on the winger when he was in India last year.

He said: “I knew Stephen from his time down in England and knew he had been out in India as I like to keep tabs on people who go to weird and wonderful places to play their football because you never know where they might crop up.

“I didn’t realise he had been here in pre-season training with the lads so when I found that out my mind was made up that I wanted to get him in and see him.”

With injuries to Iain Vigurs, Zaine Francis-Angol and Stevie Hammell this season has seen right-footed players such as Lionel Ainsworth, Craig Reid, Luke Watt, Josh Law, Simon Ramsden and David Ferguson play there.

Baraclough said: “Stephen is a left-sider for sure and we may need another one because we need that balance.

“Iain is out, Zaine has just had an operation and Stevie we’re just not sure about although he is going to see a specialist to see if he can kick on with what he is doing.

“But the left side has certainly been a glaring void with those injuries.”

Another left-sided player ’Well have been linked with is former Kilmarnock star James Dayton, although Baraclough refused to be drawn much about him.

He said: “There was a question that was put to me by an agent asking if I would be interested, but I haven’t responded to that.

“There are a lot of players being spoken about, but I believe James is under contract to Oldham so it would be disrespectful to talk about him.

“It depends how many more injuries we get who we try to bring in, but if the right person, at the right time for the right price comes up then my job is to put it to the board so who knows where we will be in the next 10 days.”

After Saturday’s game against Kilmarnock was called off to due storm damage at Fir Park, ’Well return to action against Celtic tonight (Wednesday).

“Everyone who goes to Celtic would like to get a result and we’re no different.

“We go there with a positive attitude, I think it’s one most people have as a home banker and it’s up to us to go and play on that fact.

“You look at the result we got the last time, you cannot go there with fear, sure there is respect, for the club they are and the players they have got.

“However on any given day, as Ross County and Hamilton proved, you have to go there with the right mindset and we want three points.”

Baraclough hopes a player like Pearson, who was capped 10 times for Scotland, can help guide some of the younger members of the squad.

He said: “The young boys are on a learning curve and they need to be helped along with that.

“It’s difficult to ask them to do it week after week and you need the senior boys to help them through and lead by example.

“There will be periods in games where the youngsters come up against things they haven’t experienced in the under-20s and they need to be coaxed through.

“Someone like Luke Watt made his debut against Aberdeen and dealt with it unbelievably well, but others have to be ready to make a contribution as that is where we are with injuries.”

On Saturday ’Well travel to Dundee for the second time this month, this time to face United.