Hammell says that preparation is key

Stevie Hammell played 52 minutes against Bradford on Tuesday
Stevie Hammell played 52 minutes against Bradford on Tuesday

Stevie Hammell hopes Motherwell not playing in Europe will see them better prepared for the start of the new season.

In recent years ’Well have been involved in Champions League and Europa League competition prior to the start of the Scottish season.

Hammell said: “It hardly felt like we’ve been away this summer and it was a bit more rushed when we were in Europe, so as good as it is it brings its own problems.

“This summer we’ve more time to prepare for the first game, but I’d never say it wasn’t something I wanted to do, we need to improve massively on last season and maybe we can return to Europe.”

Hammell experienced a frustrating term due to injury, but came back towards the end of the season to help keep ’Well in the top flight.

Hammell said: “Last season was a frustrating period for me, but in the end it was worth it because we stayed up.

“At worst case scenario I knew I would be back during the summer, I did a lot of work with the physio Adam Stokes who pushed me hard.

“I had surgery on my obliques and my groin, I’d been playing with them for a long time and they needed repaired, happily they’re cleared up now and I’m looking forward to getting started again.”

Now 33, the left-back has one-year left on his current deal, but doesn’t plan to hang up his boots any time soon.

He said: “I feel good, I feel fit and I feel strong, I’m not even thinking about how long I have left to play.

“I’ll know myself when the time comes and it certainly won’t be for a good few years yet.”