Motherwell Head to Aberdeen on Dire Run

Last updated : 25 December 2023 By John Wilson

Motherwell will shake off Christmas dinner on Wednesday with a long trip to Pittodrie the next opportunity to end a winless run now stretching to 15 games.

It is unsurprising that such form since early September has plunged us deep into the relegation battle and the three remaining matches before the winter break are absolutely crucial. Remarkably the opportunity is there, first against Aberdeen but then versus bottom side Livingston, to ease the situation before a tricky first foot visit to Hibs concludes the first half of a disappointing campaign.


The Christmas Eve loss to Rangers was predictable in terms of result and performance. Manager Stuart Kettlewell is remaining bullish but until he sorts out the leaky defence, it is hard to see the basis for improvement.

Paul McGinn easing back into first team business with his fractured cheekbone may help matters while Calum Butcher is doubtful. However, he has not yet recovered sufficient fitness to be the asset he was last season.

The rest of the defence, whether in the centre or out wide, is either out of form or lacking quality. The midfield looks nervous, as witnessed by our continually coughing up possession, but having already introduced Davor Zdravkovski there are no other fit cards for Kettlewell to play. The much-maligned attack has only Mika Biereth as a serious threat but the Arsenal loanee cannot do everything alone. A strike partner coming in to aid him would help, though it is hard to say who this should be.

So far, we have rigidly maintained our system of three at the back but having the worst defence in the league may give us pause for thought going into a match where we will likely be on the back foot for long spells.

Aberdeen have not had their problems to seek under Barry Robson but did wallop us 4-2 at Fir Park last month. Now they are out of Europe and fell short in the League Cup final, they will be expecting rapid improvement.

A repeat of last year’s third place finish is perhaps not taken for granted by natives of the north-east but their failure to challenge at that end of the table so far means nerves will be shaking. Livingston went one up before Aberdeen fought back to win 2-1 last midweek and we may sneak a useful point by going a little better in a 1-1 draw.

Remember the last trip to Pittodrie?