IAN BARACLOUGH is so excited about his first game as Motherwell manager he named his team more than 24 hours ahead of kick-off.
The new boss may not have gone public with his selection but he has told his players who he wants to start at St Mirren today.
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He has every faith that the starting XI can secure the much-needed three points in the crunch clash against their fellow Premiership strugglers. Baraclough said: “It’s a clean slate and I’ve got to assess all the players. I’ve picked the team and the players know it. I like to work that way.
“Those who are not in the XI are hopefully not beating themselves up and thinking they’ll never get a chance under the new manager. It’s a squad game and you could be required at any time so you’ve got to be prepared.
“We have picked a side that’s full of energy, that’s technically very good. There’s an excitement in my stomach and I can’t wait. Three points will cap a really positive week.”
Baraclough has already spoken about his long-term ambitions for the Lanarkshire outfit. But, right now, his focus is on hauling Motherwell away from the danger zone. They sit just three points in front of the rock-bottom Buddies heading into the weekend action.
Baraclough said: “I can only judge it on what I have seen so far but I can’t understand why we are on so few points after the amount of games played. The quicker we can start climbing the table and pull ourselves away from the bottom two the better.”
Baraclough wants previous assistant boss Kenny Black to remain at Fir Park as part of the new regime and confirmed he will be in the dugout with him in Paisley.
Baraclough said: “I’ve spoken to Kenny and I’m quite happy with the situation at the moment. He’s in the dugout on Saturday and has been working very well with the players this week. For me, it’s business as usual.”
St Mirren produced a promising opening-day performance against Motherwell at Fir Park but suffered a 1-0 defeat. Caretaker manager Gary Teale and assistant David Longwell are trying to inject some positivity into the team ahead of their first home game in charge following Tommy Craig’s departure and defender Jason Naismith is determined to rediscover the early-season optimism that quickly evaporated in Paisley.
“I was very optimistic after that game,” the Paisley-born player said. “I think we played them off the park that day and anybody who was there would have agreed. We could have won the game four or five-one.
“I remember meeting a St Mirren fan afterwards and he said it was the best we had played on an opening day since we won the First Division.
“So I was very optimistic going into the season but things haven’t turned out the way we would have hoped. But this is a fresh start and we need to kick on.”
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