For a long, long time, I’ve bemoaned Motherwell FC’s lack of a goalscoring central midfielder with my fellow supporters of the Steelmen, writes Craig Goldthorp.
My argument would go something along the lines of: ‘We have plenty of midfielders who are hard workers, good link up men and strong in the tackle, but a depressing lack of guys who can actually burst through and create or score a goal’.
‘We don’t have a Phil O’Donnell, Ged Brannan or Stephen Pearson, someone who can take the pressure off our misfiring strikers by taking the bull by the horns and actually putting the ball in the onion bag themselves’.
That remained the case until last Wednesday night in Paisley, when I watched teenage sensation David Turnbull marauding forward and thumping a low shot past St Mirren keeper Craig Samson which set the claret and amber hordes on their way to a vital 2-0 victory.
If seeing 19-year-old Turnbull’s authoritative, confident performance against the Buddies lifted my spirits a notch, then what he did against Dundee at Fir Park three days later had me up off my press box seat and roaring my approval.
With Motherwell toiling to break down a resilient Dark Blues rearguard, Turnbull bludgeoned forward and unleashed a ferocious 25-yard bullet shot into the top left hand corner.
Visiting keeper Jack Hamilton was well beaten, but in truth, the ball would still have hit the net had there been three custodians trying to block it.
So Motherwell manager Stephen Robinson therefore deserves credit for pitching Turnbull into two crunch matches which have seen the kid play a more than significant role in ’Well garnering six points out of six and moving a healthy seven points clear of the Scottish Premiership’s dreaded second bottom relegation play-off position.
Referring to Turnbull’s impact, Robinson said in Saturday’s post match presser: “Turnbull is a talented boy. Listen, we won’t get too carried away yet.
“He’s still at a very early stage of his career.
“But he’s got a massive talent.
“I don’t think there was ever any doubt about his temperament, he’s so unfazed by things.
“And sometimes when things aren’t going well, the younger boys are very unaffected by it, the older boys worry a little more because they’ve been part of it and they know the consequences.
“So David’s gone in with a freedom, played with a freedom.
“I thought him and Bigi linked up really, really well.
“But people have to remember the job Carl McHugh and Grimmy (Liam Grimshaw) do in there as well.
“That goes unnoticed and unseen.
“I looked at stats the other day and Carl McHugh’s stats are very similar to the boy at Hearts, Peter Haring, and he’s been classed as having a super, super season.
“So we have to give credit to everybody.
“Carl McHugh makes David Turnbull look good and David certainly stepped up to the plate.
“David needs to be managed, as all our young boys do.
“And we’ve got a few more to come as well.”
Motherwell followers will be hoping that the confidence gained from back to back victories can be utilised to telling effect when they take on Rangers at Ibrox this Sunday.