St Mirren - 48h On

Last updated : 07 August 2006 By Firparkcorner

No one has ever suggested that supporting Motherwell was an easy option. Our history makes it clear that brief patches of success are exceptions to the normal pattern of scratching out survival in the top flight.

We have never been a club with a reputation for starting league races with a sprint. In two of the last three seasons we have lost the first two games – in 2003/4 we managed to suffer defeats from the feet of Dundee and Livingston yet managed to end the campaign in the top six.

A set piece ends without a threat

Yet this time the feeling is different.

The unfortunate injuries to Corrigan and McLean together with the departure of Hammell have forced a crisis reshuffle which must have opposition strikers rubbing their hands in glee. Neither Leitch nor McCormack have been replaced in midfield and as Malpas said after the St Mirren game, “We still haven't got the blend right up front”. No wonder the fans are concerned.

There is agreement that the current crop of players has to be strengthened. Our new manager has made it clear that he is trying to bolster the squad. He has stated that several likely candidates have been identified and approaches have been made but with no success. The fact is that the club does not have the financial muscle to allow the manager to get his men.

The recent financial troubles should be fresh enough in our minds to reinforce the view that spending money we don't have cannot be the answer to our present problems. Malpas is right to wait until the right personnel become available. He should not be bounced into rushed decisions. But he needs to know that the stakes rise with each passing defeat. Neither should we expect the first signing to be a messiah.

Let's wait at least until the end of the first cycle before we agree that a degree of panic is merited. By then we may have a recognisable defence in place and be looking forward with renewed optimism. In any event we need to turn up in numbers on Saturday and play the role of the twelfth man, at least that's one signing Mo is entitled to expect.