MOTHERWELL have appointed a new manager with lofty ambitions but he says that unless the players share his optimism they will achieve nothing.
In the short-term Ian Baraclough, the former Sligo Rovers manager, is targeting an ascent up the Premiership table, but ultimately the goal is silverware and, possibly, the league title.
“I want to win trophies. Why not Motherwell Football Club? Why can’t we win the Premiership? You’ve got to go out with that thinking otherwise you won’t achieve anything. To have days out in the cup are great for fans but they are important. It’s a way into Europe and I’ve been used to that and want more of it, as I’m sure the fans do too.”
The 44-year-old, who takes over from former boss Stuart McCall and interim manager Kenny Black, enjoyed spells at Leicester City, Wigan Athletic, Queen’s Park Rangers and Scunthorpe United throughout a 20-year playing career, which ended in 2008 when he became first-team coach and eventually manager at Scunthorpe. That spell at the helm at Glanford Park lasted just six months but in 2012 he joined Sligo Rovers, overseeing one of their most successful periods ever, including the club’s first league title win in 34 years and leading his side into the UEFA Champions League qualifiers in his first season.
In his second season Sligo again qualified for Europe, finishing third in the table and winning the FAI Cup, and in his third and final season the club won the all-Ireland Setanta Cup for the first time in the club’s history. But in June this year he left the Irish side, instead taking up a scouting role for Huddersfield Town.
Motherwell have finished second behind Celtic in the Premiership in the last two seasons but following the departure of key players they have started this season poorly, winning just three of their first 15 games.
CONNECT WITH THE SCOTSMAN
• Subscribe to our daily newsletter (requires registration) and get the latest news, sport and business headlines delivered to your inbox every morning
Baraclough, who watched from the stands yesterday, takes over with the club in tenth place and the Englishman, who was one of six candidates interviewed before Terry Butcher withdrew last week, will have to find a way to rebuild confidence and help the side climb the league standings. “I’ve done some research into the history of the club and I know how well the football club has done, certainly over recent years. It will be a hard task to take over from Stuart but one I’m excited to take up,” said Baraclough. “I’m a positive guy and I’m upbeat most of the time. The players will find that and I’ll try and get that across to them. I want this club to feel energised and start climbing the table.
“Short term, my aim is to keep this club in the Premiership. There is no easy way to go about that and it is a situation that hasn’t been at this football club in a few years but it doesn’t scare me. I feel as though there is more than enough to push us up the table in the short term then try and build for long term by producing players. I am big on development, so the young players will certainly have a pathway to the first team if they are good enough.
“I want players to be comfortable on the ball and not give up possession easily. I want the players to be full of expression and play with a freedom, which they will enjoy. They have got to be hard working though. I demand hard work and honesty from players and I think most fans can relate to that. If they can see players putting in a shift, they can forgive mistakes. They will make mistakes but if they are trying the right things then there will be no qualms from me.
“I want to give the fans as much pride in their team and town as soon as possible. I’m not going to say we need to win these games but psychologically these next few games could be massive for the season and I’m confident that we can get out of the bottom three and start moving up to mid-table and then aim for as high as position as possible.”
SCOTSMAN TABLET AND IPHONE APPS