St Mirren v Motherwell
An on form St Mirren side welcome league leaders Motherwell to Paisley for a mouthwatering tie between two sides brimful of confidence.
St Mirren have started the season playing attractive, attacking football that has seen praise heaped on manager Danny Lennon and his team. The Buddies were unfortunate to drop two points last week against Dundee United, St Mirren had been leading the match when Nigel Hasselbaink saw red for elbowing Paul Dixon.
Lennon made no attempt to hide his admiration for both players and fans,
‘I’m just absolutely delighted with the other side of the game and the qualities that my players showed. I was absolutely delighted with their character. The fans can be proud because they certainly carried those 10 men through the second half and I’m absolutely delighted for them. They played a major, major part in picking up a very valuable point and very, very difficult venue.’
Motherwell defender Steven Saunders has been ruled out for the rest of the season after rupturing an Achilles tendon in the 3-0 Scotland under-21 victory over Norway. Motherwell manager Stuart McCall is understandably gutted over losing the young star,
‘My heart goes out to him and his family – his mum and dad were at the game. It was innocuous, there was no-one near him. I thought he had just gone over on his ankle. The worst-case scenario is nine months. I know injuries are part of the game but it was really sickening to see that. I spoke to him in the dressing room afterwards. It will be a long haul back.
But he is a great kid and he will get his head down and focus. I said to him if you can get back in hopefully you can help us get to another Scottish Cup final. That put a smile on his face but it’s difficult times for him at the moment.’
The continuing speculation over the future of striker Jamie Murphy doesn’t seem to affecting his performances.
The young forward scored the only goal of the match against Hearts last weekend to put the Steelmen on top of the SPL. Murphy attempted to reassure Well fans that he wasn’t contemplating leaving the Fir Park club, but such declarations of loyalty have a habit of haunting players,
‘I try not to focus on it too much. I try to let other people do that and until someone comes in with a bid I can’t do anything but play my best for Motherwell. I have grown up in Glasgow with all my family and friends and I love playing football at Motherwell. I am not even thinking about [leaving] until something actually happens.’