All Change For Motherwell
Updated Tuesday, 9th March 2010
10 games without a loss is a good return for any side. Motherwell's good run could see them chasing for a European slot.
Motherwell midfielder Keith Lasley admits the level of confidence at Fir Park remains as high as their recent third-place campaign in the SPL. Well confirmed their status as the SPL's form team of 2010 with a 2-1 win over St Johnstone on Saturday, their tenth league game without defeat. Craig Brown has transformed the Lanarkshire club from a makeweight in the bottom half of the table into contenders for a European slot. A win at St Mirren tonight would take fifth-placed Well level on points with Hibs and a point off third place. Motherwell last finished as the best of the rest in 2008 and Lasley feels they are in similar fettle, although Mark McGhee's attacking style has been replaced by Brown's solid approach which has seen them concede just two SPL goals this year.
Lasley, who made his Motherwell debut in 2000, said: "It's probably the best run in terms of not conceding goals. I can't remember a run before where I've been as disappointed to lose a goal as Saturday. There was a real disappointment because once you're on a run like that you want to sustain it. The fact that we had so many clean sheets was something we wanted to protect. It is a run similar to two years ago but those games were maybe a little higher scoring. But there's a similar sense of consistency and it's similar in terms of the level of confidence. Results definitely breed confidence. We're going into games confidently and hoping to take points in whatever game we go into."
That confidence has been evident in the way Motherwell have won their last three games, with goals in the final quarter of the game. Lasley said: "We seem to have won a few games in the second half. We are a fit group of players, maybe that has got something to do with it, I don't know. But we just feel that, no matter who we're against, that we've got a chance of getting points. I think it's fair to say that we're just going into games with belief and it seems to be working for us."
A third successive European campaign - this season's Europa League sojourn was earned through the Fair Play league - is now a distinct possibility but the subject is not among the topics of conversation between the players. Lasley went on: "We've been that far away from it all year, all we're focusing on is the top six. Once we get to the top six and if we're still in touching distance, you will maybe start hearing us talk about it. But until that happens, we're just trying to get as many points as we can to secure the top-six place."
Ger Harley (ger@scottishfitba net)
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