The sensational young trio of David Turnbull, Jake Hastie and Allan Campbell have justifiably gathered many plaudits as Motherwell have gone from relegation candidates at Christmas to within just two points of the Premiership’s top six after Saturday’s comfortable 3-0 home win over local rivals Hamilton Accies, writes Craig Goldthorp.
The seventh placed Steelmen – 100/1 no hopers to finish top six as recently as December – are now breathing down sixth placed Hibs’ necks ahead of this Saturday’s meeting between the two teams at Easter Road.
And rampaging ’Well right back Liam Grimshaw (24), who has also been brilliant in a phenomenal recent run which has seen them win seven league games out of the last nine including the last four at Fir Park, can’t wait to take on the resurgent Hibees and then host eighth placed St Johnstone on March 30.
“It’s game on,” former Manchester United youth player Grimshaw told the Times and Speaker.
“We’ve got Hibs and St Johnstone coming up. So obviously we’ll have to have good results against them.
“But if we do then then we’ve every chance of top six.
“I think before Christmas results just weren’t quite going our way.
“When that happens, a lack of confidence hit the team and it wasn’t as good as it could be.
“The young lads have come in and done great, added a bit of freshness to it.
“The wingers – Gboly (Ariyibi) and Jake – giving teams something to think about.
“In training every day it’s always a good standard. So I can definitely see how we have turned it around.”
The latest example of ’Well’s fine attacking talents came against the Accies, who were brushed aside with ease thanks to Turnbull’s double in the first 10 minutes – the second of which was a penalty – and Hastie’s strike from a Turnbull assist on 37 minutes.
Ariyibi was also a real standout with his trickery and skill and Grimshaw plugged away tirelessly down the right flank.
“We had a great start to the game,” Grimshaw added.
“We played some great football and it probably could have been more than three in the first half.
“But the lads took the goals well and that gave us a good comfortable lead there for the second half.
“I’m really enjoing the right back role.
“It’s just really getting a constant run in the team as well, whether that be at full back or in midfield.
“That’s what’s helped me improve over the last few weeks, just having that consistency and probably growing in confidence.
“There’s a good confidence between the lads. When we won six in a row that winning run obviously was a really big boost for us.
The one recent disappointment was ’Well’s shock 2-1 home reverse to Ross County in a home William Hill Scottish Cup fourth round tie on January 19.
Grimmy added: “Ross County played well against us.
“We’d just come back off our winter break and weren’t great.
“But I think we’d have had quite a good run to the final in terms of who we’d have been playing.
“So it is disappointing but I suppose it’s given us more time to focus on our league position.
Grimshaw’s ’Well contract was due to expire this summer but on Tuesday he signed a new one-year extension to stay at Fir Park.