Preview: St Mirren (a)
Updated Thursday, 2nd August 2007
It's here! At long last the football season is back. None of this Saturday shopping or gardening nonsense and definitely no more friendly matches. Hang on, it's St Mirren we have? At Love Street? Err, I think the grass needs cut!
Buried deep down in the psyche of every Motherwell fan there is a warning bell which flashes in situations like this. We have a new manager, we have had a reasonable pre-season, a big crowd will travel, full of optimism no doubt, to
And yet we do have cause to be hopeful. For a start Craig Dargo looks unlikely to play for St Mirren and without him they will struggle for goals even more than us. In our team we are likely to have a midfield that will finally fight for everything in the centre of the park and in the SPL that usually ensures you have a 50-50 chance of coming out on top. It is hard to know the full team that we'll play but there are a few people who are certain to be there. Smith, Paterson, Reynolds and McLean will be at the back with Craigan surely not being recalled now after missing out recently with injury. Paul Quinn seems to have pushed himself ahead of Corrigan at right back and if he is selected here it will show McGhee has both mental toughness and the guts to make hard decisions.
The decision won't necessarily be the correct one of course but it is good to know he won't shy away from doing what he thinks is right. In the midfield Lasley will play and it is hard to see Fitzpatrick or O'Donnell being preferred to Mensing in the centre when it comes to the crunch. Mensing and Lasley will be up against Mason and Murray in the middle of the park and there is no doubt this contest will not be one for the football purists. McGarry, Molloy, Darren Smith and Fitzpatrick could all do a job on the wing if called upon while Murphy could also fit in here or alternatively at full back with Stepover pushing up.
As ever we have concerns up front as Porter has been quiet and McCormack, though looking inspired at times, is doubtful with a knock. Clarkson has shown glimpses of promise in pre-season but it has been a long time since he looked like an SPL striker and he might be eased into the season rather than thrown in at the deep end if it is possible. We have a decent squad available to us and we really couldn't have asked for a much better start - St Mirren did finish 11th last year after all. However this game will leave more questions than answers as we have to make do with a 1-1 draw.
Remember the last time we were at Love Street?