Skip to main content

Steven Hammell wants attacking reinforcements at Motherwell

Motherwell manager Steven Hammell
(Image credit: Gavin McCafferty)

Motherwell manager Steven Hammell will step up his search for new attacking options after losing a lead at Kilmarnock.

Kevin van Veen scored a brilliantly-taken goal following a defence-splitting pass from Blair Spittal to open the scoring at Rugby Park and claim his fourth goal of the season.

But it was even more clear after a 2-1 defeat that the Dutchman needs more help up front. Hammell started with Connor Shields wide on the right and brought Joe Efford, Ross Tierney and Josh Morris off the bench.

Efford failed to find Morris with a square ball just before Danny Armstrong’s close-range equaliser in the 71st minute.

Tierney squandered a swift chance to restore the lead when his weak effort was stopped by Sam Walker after brilliant set-up play from Van Veen.

Ash Taylor soon headed home from a long free-kick after losing his marker as Killie secured their first cinch Premiership win of the season.

Asked about his plans ahead of Thursday’s transfer deadline, Hammell said: “We will bring in a couple, at least, in the last few days.

“I think we need that, especially at the top end of the pitch. We had every attacking player on the pitch that we had there, and we still need a little bit more.

“I think we need to be a bit more clinical and cleaner in the final third and that’s hopefully something we can address in the next few days.

“There was a moment before (the equaliser) when we got in, and it’s stuff we work on every single day. In transition, we need to be better in the final third. We could and should go 2-0 up if we work it better.

“We work a good opening at 1-1 again with Ross and we need to be taking these chances. If you compare the goals and chances with what we gave up, it was disappointing.”

Killie had missed several chances before their equaliser with Oli Shaw and Kyle Lafferty particularly wasteful, while Ben Chrisene also came close twice on his debut.

The on-loan Aston Villa left-back hit the underside of the bar on an impressive debut, providing plenty of energy to match Arsenal right-back Ryan Alebiosu on the other flank.

Killie boss Derek McInnes said: “The two young full-backs who are just coming out of academy football, and dealing with that game, particularly young Ben at 18, dealing with a Scottish Premiership game, is testament to his fitness and professionalism.

“You can see why we were so eager to get him, he is an absolute dream for 18 how he plays the game.

“He was unlucky not to mark his debut with a goal, with his shot off the bar.

“We have got two young full-backs and sometimes there is a consequence of that but I thought the strengths of that outweighed that and they were terrific.

“But it was a really strong performance which pleases me no end because it’s all right me saying we should have beaten Ross County and Dundee United. Should have and could have doesn’t get it done.

“When it’s the Premiership we have to make sure we get the job done and thankfully we did.”

Thank you for reading 5 articles this month* Join now for unlimited access

Enjoy your first month for just £1 / $1 / €1

*Read 5 free articles per month without a subscription

Join now for unlimited access

Try first month for just £1 / $1 / €1