Motherwell host Livingston in relegation six-pointer

Last updated : 28 December 2023 By John Wilson

Fir Park is the venue for a true relegation six-pointer on Saturday when second-bottom Motherwell host bottom club Livingston.

Without a win 15 matches, manager Stuart Kettlewell will be urging his charges to stiffen the sinews and summon the blood for a 90 minutes which will not be the faint of heart.

A mid-week storm meant our Wednesday trip to Pittodrie was postponed while Livingston drew 0-0 at home to our mutual relegation rival St Johnstone. They could have won, having missed an open goal with the last kick, but looked very much like a side who have scored twice and taken just two points in their last 11 games.  That record – since they beat you know who in September – means they have even poorer recent form than us.


From a Motherwell point of view, the extra rest may help Paul McGinn ease back into the starting eleven while Calum Butcher, who was labeled doubtful for Aberdeen, could also come back into contention. The remainder of our long-term absentees remain unavailable.

This fixture has long been circled as a must-win in the battle for survival and most would think Kettlewell’s future hinges upon the result. It might be unlikely we will sack him on before the January 2 trip to Easter Road, but anything less than a win will surely make see us looking for a new manager in the winter break.

That begs the question of what our boss will do with his future on the line. Mika Biereth will certainly start up top but struggles without a partner. However, Oli Shaw, Connor Wilkinson, Theo Bair and Jon Obika have not exactly been making a case for inclusion.

Should one be picked, they would surely replace Callum Slattery or Harry Paton. Blair Spittal, though perhaps not on top form, will retain his place while Davor Zdravkovski is beginning to look tidy in front of the defence. That defence will be missing the injured Dan Casey for sure but even if fit, few would say Butcher is a big plus after recent appearances. But the efforts of Bevis Mugabi et al do not instill confidence either.

Throughout our poor run, Kettlewell and the squad have insisted the spirit remains in our group. This is the last chance to prove it and, though it might not be pretty, a 2-0 win will lift the mood. What comes next, however, remains to be seen.

Remember the last visit of Livingston?