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Graham Alexander keen to sign players who can serve Motherwell in the long term

Graham Alexander File Photo
(Image credit: Andrew Milligan)

Motherwell manager Graham Alexander admits he has work to do on his squad ahead of the cinch Premiership season but he feels some long-term planning can negate the need for similar transformations in future years.

Sixteen first-team players departed Fir Park this summer and Alexander does not want to be in the same position next year.

So he is happy to take more time to get the right players in for the long term.

Liam Kelly, Callum Slattery, Kaiyne Woolery and Connor Shields have come in on three-year contracts while Kevin Van Veen joined until 2023.

“It’s a real difficult scenario,” Alexander said. “I have had two (windows) now, January and this one, and it is really difficult to recruit players in time to get a plan in place.

“We want to identify players we think can come with us for a few years. We know if someone comes and buys them, we understand where we are in the food chain.

“But if we can build some momentum through time and familiarity with the squad, then all the better.

“We can’t be chopping and changing the squad every window. It’s impossible, it’s not sustainable.

“We have to identify the right players to do that but it shows we want to plan for, not just next season, but the future.”

Alexander is hoping for several more signings but not all before Sunday’s visit of Hibernian.

“We are hopeful of at least one,” he said. “There is something bubbling away so fingers crossed that happens this week.

“We have two or three other options but they are a bit further away. I would be cautious about being able to get them in this week and whether they would be ready for Sunday anyway.

“But there is still a bit of work to do to get the squad where we want it to be.”

The wait for new signings has been exacerbated by fitness issues which deprived Alexander of the likes of Bevis Mugabi, Mark O’Hara, Liam Grimshaw and Shields.

“If we can get them in training this week that will be a bonus but because of the length of time they have missed they will not be ready for the weekend,” he said.