Motherwell Need To Win To Add To Squad
Updated Thursday, 29th July 2010
Europa League progression could add to Motherwell's bank balance and player pool.
Despite Motherwell making it to the third qualifying round of the Europa League, manager Craig Brown can only dream of getting any more than one more striker added to his squad. However, another good result tonight in Norway could change things in the budget department. Motherwell have lost eight outfield first-team players since Brown and Archie Knox took charge at the turn of the year. Jim O'Brien, Giles Coke and Lukas Jutkiewicz were the key departures this summer, while Paul Slane, Steven McGarry, Darren Smith, Michael McGlinchey and Yassin Moutaouakil had all left earlier. Brown has yet to find an affordable outfield player to add to his squad this summer. The former Scotland manager used all of his experience to mastermind two victories over Iceland's Breidablik in the previous round, but he needs another good result against Aalesunds to boost his budget. He said: " It's still one striker. One round of Europe has helped - it has helped us get into the next round, which could release some funds."
Motherwell recently went public over a debt owed by Cardiff for the sale of Paul Quinn, believed to run into six figures, but Brown does not expect to see any of that cash either. He said: " I think that money was budgeted for in the overall running costs. I don't think that will be added to my player budget. I think that would be absorbed quite quickly. The pitch takes up a lot of the expenditure here and there have been improvements within the stadium."
Standing in the way of extra funds are a side sitting fourth in Norway's top flight after 18 games. The home side feature giant striker Tor Hogne Aaroy, but Brown expects his wide men to prevent the hitman getting the service he thrives on. Brown said: "They are a very good team - athletic, fit, organised. They have a well-known striker who is 6ft 8in tall, who created the goal on Saturday by outjumping the goalkeeper. The goalkeeper was using his arms and hands and he only had his head but he outjumped him. So we're aware of the threat of crosses coming into the penalty box. The first thing you do is stop the crosses coming in, if you don't get the delivery, he can't score. They have a very good Jamaican international called (Demar) Philips on the left and he delivers wonderful crosses, and (Alexander) Mathisen on the right. So we have to be alert. I have absolute faith in Stephen Craigan and Mark Reynolds to know when to jump and challenge or when to let him have a header and pick up the headed ball. I'm genuinely not worried. If Peter Crouch was out there I wouldn't be worried either."
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