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Liam Grimshaw not surprised by Europa League learning experience

Motherwell v Glentoran – UEFA Europa League – First Qualifying Round – Fir Park
(Image credit: Andrew Milligan)

Liam Grimshaw feels Motherwell have learned a lot from their European experience but he was not surprised by the antics of Hapoel Beer-Sheva.

For the second Europa League game running, Motherwell had a man sent off as Declan Gallagher picked up two quickfire bookings in Thursday’s 3-0 defeat in Israel.

The second foul led to a penalty which allowed Hapoel to go two ahead and finish the contest with 20 minutes left.

Hapoel had five players booked themselves and there were several flashpoints during a fiery clash.

Motherwell boss Stephen Robinson felt his team were shown how to play referees and win fouls but Grimshaw had seen it all before.

The former Manchester United trainee said: “That’s European football in general. If you watch European football over the years, you will know that they dive about and referees are quite quick to give fouls.

“To be honest I think they were lucky to keep 11 men on the pitch at times, there were a few incidents.

“But you know what the craic is when you play in Europe so you just have to deal with it.

“We have learned a lot. It was a good experience for everyone, playing the two Irish teams and then playing in Israel, a different country and different culture. It’s just disappointing we couldn’t progress.

“I thought for long periods we more than matched them. If we could have got a goal first half when we had that decent spell of pressure, it would have changed the complexion of the game.

“When they scored it puts you on the back foot and you have got to go for it, and we got picked off really.”

Motherwell have little time to rest before facing another difficult challenge against Scottish Premiership leaders Rangers at Fir Park.

The tight ground close to the supporters normally poses some challenges to Rangers and Grimshaw hopes they can recreate the tempo without the backing of their supporters.

“I think it’s something we are slowly getting used to now,” the 25-year-old said.

“It was really strange to begin with but as it goes on it’s becoming a bit more normal.

“Obviously it’s always a great atmosphere when the Old Firm come to Fir Park. It’s a derby game isn’t it? Even if it’s not the Old Firm, Glasgow is only a few miles away so it’s a big derby game, so it’s always good to have the backing of our fans.

“It’s obviously a big help when the crowd are behind us but as professional footballers it’s up to us to get our heads on it and create that tempo.

“It’s always a test against Rangers but they are the sort of games you want to play in.”