Skip to main content

Motherwell boss Stephen Robinson wants games moved after international window

Motherwell v Rangers – Scottish Premiership – Fir Park
(Image credit: Jeff Holmes)

Motherwell manager Stephen Robinson has called for Scottish Premiership games to be moved to Sunday after next month’s international break after two of his players played three times for Scotland in six days.

Robinson has a concern over the readiness of wing-back Stephen O’Donnell to face St Mirren in Paisley on Saturday after he completed a trio of internationals alongside Fir Park team-mate Declan Gallagher on Wednesday night.

Motherwell have not played since September 27 because of Kilmarnock’s Covid-19 problems but O’Donnell may have to miss out.

“We are looking forward to getting back to business again, it’s been a long three weeks with the game being cancelled,” Robinson said.

“What we have to weigh up now with the boys coming back, an unprecedented three games in six days.

“Declan will be fine because of the position he plays in, there’s not loads of running, especially in the middle of the three.

“Stephen is a concern for me because of the minutes he has had, and that is certainly not a criticism of anybody, that’s just the way the football world is at the minute, we have to fit those games in.

“But maybe the authorities could give us an extra day to allow those international boys to recover.

“Why are we not playing on Sunday to give them an extra day?

“We did it with Scotland, to get games on the Friday night to give Scotland an extra chance, so you would be hoping that would be replicated, especially on the next occasion in November because we are all learning as we go with this.

“I’m delighted for the boys but can they go for us with the same intensity and same desire on Saturday?

“My concern will be with Stephen so I will look at him and see where he is.”

QPR manager Mark Warburton expressed his frustration after Lyndon Dykes started all three games but former Northern Ireland assistant boss Robinson has no complaints about his two players being utilised.

Robinson, who also had Trevor Carson, Bevis Mugabi, Allan Campbell and Barry Maguire away on international duty, added: “I have been involved in both sides of it and I understand from all the international managers’ point of view, you have to put your best players in.

“Stephen and Deccy were only two out of four players that started every game and played almost every minute, bar I think Stephen came off with a minute to go against Israel.

“You have no complaints from me, I am delighted for the boys, it’s the pinnacle of their career playing for their countries.

“I think we need a little bit more help from the authorities and move games 24 hours and give everybody a little bit more breathing space.

“This is new, it’s not a criticism, we are learning as we go with this, so maybe in November we can look at that.”

Mugabi dislocated his shoulder in training after returning to Scotland and will be out for four to six weeks.

Robinson said: “He is unfortunate, every time he gets a run in the team, it seems to be after four or five games he is playing really well, he suffers an injury.”