Motherwell V Dundee at Fir Park Stadium : Match Preview

28 April 2017

Motherwell winger Elliott Frear says relegation battle is a challenge

Motherwell winger Elliott Frear admits his first relegation battle is challenging rather than enjoyable.

The 26-year-old Englishman joined the Fir Park club from Forest Green Rovers in January and his first start was in the 7-2 thrashing by Aberdeen at Pittodrie which was followed by a 5-1 home defeat to Dundee.

After the loss to the Dark Blues, boss Mark McGhee made way for Stephen Robinson.

Frear described his start to life in the Ladbrokes Premiership as an "eye opener".

The Steelmen have entered the five post-split fixtures in 10th place, two points ahead of second-bottom Dundee and Frear is focused on escape rather than entertainment.

He said: "I wouldn't say enjoy. I would say it is a challenge.

"I have been lucky enough to have been down south and been at a team where we have been in the play-offs in the last few years.

"But I am relishing it and just want to keep enjoying my football

"Everyone's focus at the club is to get out the position, because we know we are good enough not to be in this position we are in.

"We don't think we deserve to be down here but it is our responsibility to get out of it."

Since their convincing win over Motherwell the Dens Park side have lost seven on the spin and slipped to 11th in the table.

Manager Paul Hartley was replaced by former Dundee, Hearts and Rangers winger Neil McCann, who is taking charge for the first time on Saturday.

Frear is aware of the possibility of a positive response from the Dundee players although he hopes to capitalise on any early teething problems.

The former Exeter player said: "We were similar when we went to Kilmarnock when the gaffer came in. It changed the mood of the place and everything lifted 10 to 20 per cent.

"So they are going to be lifted by a new manager coming in with new ideas.

"But it is always a bit of a unknown when a new manager comes in so you are not really sure what is going to go on.

"So hopefully we can catch them off guard, start quick and get a few early goals which would be nice."

Dundee goalkeeper Scott Bain believes new manager McCann has given the players a lift.

Bain said: "Look, we lost seven in a row. It's not great and no-one is going to be happy about it, but we were never down in the dumps where we thought we couldn't get out of it.

"But I have definitely seen a lift from myself and from other players since the new manager has come in.

"He's come in and been very positive. He's been very instructive about what he wants us to do and the boys have really bought into what he is trying to achieve now.

"The whole vibe now is we are going to be positive and basically try and finish top of this league we are in. Now it's the bottom six, we want to finish seventh, as high as we can. It's been great.

"It's a mini-league and we play all the teams round about us, and we want to finish top of that, we want to finish seventh.

"There's no point looking at the rest of the season. We have had bad results, we have had results that were great, we threw away results, we have had good results where we came back.

"But all that doesn't really matter now, all that matters is these five games and getting as high up the league as we possibly can."

Hartley led Dundee to promotion and then the top six the following season but he paid the price for their recent poor run, and Bain admitted he was not surprised.

"At the end of the day it's football and it happens every week, whatever time of the season it is," the 25-year-old said.

"The big thing is that we stay up for Paul, but for ourselves and also for the club and for the new manager. We need to be 100 per cent and fully focused on these next five games."