All’s not well at Fir Park but Stuart McCall won’t let illness scupper ambitions

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Motherwell manager Stuart McCall will field a competitive team in tomorrow’s Clydesdale Bank Premier League game at Inverness, despite illness having hindered the visitors’ preparations.

The Fir Park side were forced to 
cancel two training sessions this week, after only four first-team players were deemed fit enough to take part.

“We have had to cut training twice this week as we only had four fit players available. I know there will be some players definitely missing for Inverness but that will create chances for some of the other players,” McCall said.

“You just have to go with what you’ve got, though, and that’s what we will be doing. We don’t know what we will travel with and will have to assess the squad before we leave on Saturday.

“When you have a small squad you have to wrap players in cotton wool, but whatever the side that goes out there on Sunday, they will be going out looking to win.

“Some of the boys have come back to training today. It will be a competitive side we put out, but some of the guys won’t make it and there will be some who play not fully fit.”

McCall’s team have recorded just one win in their last seven league matches, but despite their dip in form, the manager is remaining positive.

Motherwell could not build on an impressive victory at St Johnstone two weeks ago as they lost at home to 
Dundee United and were then held to a 1-1 draw by Dundee.

“If I look back on the last few games, we are playing as well as we were at this stage last season,” McCall said. “We are just struggling to find that elusive goal when we are on top. When we have been dominating games we just haven’t been taking our chances – it’s a thin line between success and failure.”

Inverness midfielder Andrew Shinnie is aiming to take his pride at his Scotland debut into tomorrow’s game.

Shinnie was rewarded with a call-up for an impressive start to the season that has seen him score six Clydesdale Bank Premier League goals and set up five. The 23-year-old was a late addition to caretaker manager Billy Stark’s squad but played from the start in Scotland’s 2-1 friendly win in Luxembourg on Wednesday.

“It was brilliant,” Shinnie said. “I was a bit nervy because I didn’t really know any of the boys and they were quite big in stature, but they all made me feel welcome. It was a great trip and brilliant to be playing and to be around these guys and see how they work.

“Once you have finished at under-21 level you think that might be me finished, but fortunately I managed to get a cap. I am really grateful to Billy Stark.

“Some people were tipping me for it just because of the way the team has been playing, and I have managed to get a few goals which can get you a bit of credit, which can be a bit unfair on the other boys.”

Inverness lost 4-1 at Fir Park on 2 
September but have not lost in ten games since and go into the game two points ahead of Motherwell.