’Well’s short break coming to an end

Motherwell defender Stephen McManus joins pupils at the St Bride's Primary sports fun day.
Motherwell defender Stephen McManus joins pupils at the St Bride's Primary sports fun day.

Less than four weeks after retaining their place in the Scottish Premiership, it’s back to work for Motherwell tomorrow (Thursday).

With the play-off against Rangers still fresh in the memory, ’Well boss Ian Baraclough and his troops will be working extra hard to ensure there is no repeat.

Defender Stephen McManus is among those who may have pined for a longer break, but he understands the importance of being proerly prepared.

He said: “We’ve only had basically three weeks off, when you get that wee bit older you feel like you need a bit longer than that.

“It was an unpleasant experience playing in a relegation battle for a year, it’s something I hadn’t experienced before, and and it’s something I don’t want to experience again.”

Left-back Joe Chalmers is the only new arrival at Fir Park so far this summer and with Lee Erwin, John Sutton and Scott McDonald all leaving Baraclough is looking for a new striker and could be tempted by Livingston forward Jordan White.

’Well will kick off the season with a trip to Scottish Cup winners Inverness CT on Saturday, August 1.

They then take on Dundee United (h) on August 8, Premiership new boys Hearts (a) on August 12, Aberdeen (h) on August 15, St Johnstone (a) on August 22 and Kilmarnock (h) on August 29 to complete the opening month.

However, with Inverness, Aberdeen and St Johnstone all entered in European action, expect the three matches against them to be moved.

The first Lanarkshire derby away to Hamilton Accies will be on September 19.