Aberdeen- 24h On
Updated Sunday, 16th December 2007
Motherwell fans could be forgiven if they feel an increasing unreality about the progress the team has made this season. We are living in a strange half-asleep, half-awake world and hoping that the alarm clock never rings.
Five SPL wins in a row is not a statistic that we see very often. It last faced us in season 2004/5 and previously 1994/5 when we still had the core of the '91 cup winning team. The contrast with the present side is very marked. Last season we huffed and puffed our way to an unremarkable tenth place and in the close season we lost what many considered to be our best two players.
This was a run to boast about - 1994/5
While our manager and his attacking philosophy have been attracting many column inches of deserved praise it would be unfair if the efforts of the players were to be overlooked.
To their credit the squad adjusted to the new regime quickly and with enthusiasm. As the new manager pointed out when he talked to a supporters' meeting, this was the easy time to make significant changes. He explained his thinking and the players were faced with the stark choice of buckling down to the exacting standards or choosing to move on.
The basic formation was changed to a versatile 4-3-3 and players were encouraged to exploit their new found fitness advantage. Clarkson's boundless energy was channelled though midfield, Quinn grabbed his chance at right back and McCormack, free at last from last season's illness, was free to fill the gap caused by McDonald's departure.
O'Donnell continues to defy his years and his experience is complimented by the midfield pace of McGarry and Hughes. We even have the luxury of competition for places in the centre of the team with Lasley currently hounding the others for a starting place. Porter's height gives us an option of the high ball upfield but in fairness to the big man he is able to keep the ball at feet.
So we look forward to the visit of