Ramsden seeks atonement for season of knockout blows

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MOTHERWELL defender Simon Ramsden is determined to start atoning for last season’s cup disappointment.

Motherwell fell at the first hurdle of four cup competitions last season, including the Champions League and Europa League.

But the domestic tournaments hurt most. Motherwell became the first top-flight club to lose to post-liquidation Rangers when they exited the League Cup at Ibrox, and they also conceded a last-gasp equaliser at Pittodrie before losing to Aberdeen in a Scottish Cup replay.

Ramsden and his team-mates went on to enjoy a memorable season as they finished second in the league, but the cup heartache still stings ahead of their League Cup third-round clash away to Livingston this evening.

“It’s a very big game for us,” the Englishman said. “Last season, we let ourselves down in the cup competitions, so we are determined to put that right..

“The league is obviously your bread and butter but last season was very disappointing because we felt we should have done a lot better in the cup.

“The manager stressed that [Rangers game] was probably our most disappointing performance of the season. There was a lot of hype around the fixture, as it was the first time Rangers played one of the SPL sides.

“The atmosphere was tremendous and whether that got to a few of the players, I’m not too sure.

“But we definitely want to put that right. The quality we have in the team, there is no reason why we can’t go far in the competition.

“I have never played in a cup final, so to lift that trophy would be tremendous.”

Ramsden would surely have thought his chances of winning silverware improved when he left Bradford for Fir Park last year. But he then watched from a distance as the Bantams reached the Capital One Cup final before losing to Swansea.

Ramsden said: “I still stand by the decision to come up here. I have thoroughly enjoyed my time and I love playing for the club. But it was a great time for Bradford last year, probably never to be repeated… a team from the bottom tier getting to the cup final. I was very happy for them.”

Livingston have been boosted by Saturday’s 2-1 win over Dumbarton, and new manager John McGlynn said: “That was an important win as it was our first one of the season and we also came from behind to achieve it. It has not lifted us off bottom spot but it is a start.”

While some of the personnel at Fir Park have changed, McGlynn reckons he knows tonight’s opponents well from his time as Hearts manager.

“Motherwell were a very decent side last season and they are playing with a very similar style this season,” he said.

“Some players have gone and some have come in, but their approach to playing the game has remained the same.

“Therefore I know a good bit about them and I know it will be a tough tie but we are going into it with a bit more confidence than we have had recently. We will look to build on the Dumbarton result with a good performance and see what happens from there.”