Updated Thursday, 19th February 2004
After the debacle in Livingston, the burning question on everyone's lips is which Motherwell side will turn up against Kilmarnock on Saturday? Given how tight the league is, this is the sort of home game we must win.
Kilmarnock won last week against Partick Thistle to end a four game losing streak – but in fairness three of these were against the Old Firm. Whilst they are currently sitting in tenth place, a win on Saturday would allow them to join us on the 27 point mark.
For Motherwell, a win could return us to fifth spot in the table. More interestingly, three points would see us sail past the 28 points we managed in all of last seasons campaign. There is no doubt that if we play well, we can win. But will we recreate the performance against Dundee or Livingston?
The cause of the capitulation at Livi has been long debated. One of the more valid suggestions seems to be that we miss the dig of Scott Leitch in midfield. Neither Derek Adams or Phil O’Donnell is a similar player and the theory goes that when we come up against a physically dominating centre midfielder, we struggle to contain them or impose ourselves enough on the game. Whilst the Killie midfield should not have us too worried, it is hard to see any of our guys being able to match up successfully against Gary Locke in the ‘get stuck in’ stakes.
As we have seen, we do have some quality up front but only if they get the right kind of service. If we get bustled out of the midfield, it is likely to be another baron afternoon in front of goal.
The defence is not exactly looking rock solid either at the minute. Paul Quinn’s early promise has evaporated and the normally reliable Craigan is becoming shaky. We have conceded eight goals in the last three games and a change might be needed to freshen things up. Perhaps a returning David Partridge could be the answer?
Saturday’s game seems likely to be an intriguing tactical battle between the managers even if the entertainment on show will not be top quality. However, both sets of fans will leave satisfied after a 2-2 draw.