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Turnbull’s return lifted Motherwell skipper Gallagher on night to forget

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

Motherwell skipper Declan Gallagher was lifted by the return to the starting line-up of David Turnbull on a night to forget in Dingwall.

Gallagher conceded a penalty in his first game as club captain as Motherwell lost 1-0 thanks to Ross Stewart’s spot-kick on Monday.

Liam Donnelly later missed from the spot for the visitors while debutant Callum Lang was sent off after missing a great chance.

Christopher Long hit the post for Motherwell as they paid the price for a slow start which culminated in Gallagher’s rash challenge on Harry Paton to give away the spot-kick.

“I just wanted to get my body between the ball and the goal,” he said. “I felt I got there and blocked it but his momentum took him into me. He has obviously felt me coming in and he screamed.

“When we missed the penalty I thought it might be one of those nights for us.

“Chris Long did well for his chance and he is unlucky he hit the post. Liam is Mr Reliable from the penalty spot usually as well. He felt like he let the boys down but that’s not the case as everyone had their part to play.

“I gave away the penalty, we had a red card and missed penalty, but we are a team and we will stick together. 

“It isn’t the result we wanted but we will look at the positives and negatives and make sure we are ready for the weekend.”

Turnbull’s first start since May 2019 was a major positive as the midfielder bounces back from knee surgery.

The 21-year-old showed his class by setting up Long for Motherwell’s best first-half chance.

“It is a massive boost having him back,” Gallagher said. “He is a £3million player and I think he showed that at times.

“It is just the way he can link the play and some of his passes are superb. He is a different type of player for us and it is brilliant to see him back.

“He had cramp at the end but that is to be expected after so long out. The sooner we can get him up to speed we have a massive player on our hands.

“We can’t put too much pressure on him as he will take time to get back to top form.

“In pre-season he hasn’t played six or seven games, he had 45 minutes here or there. You can’t throw him in and expect him to be the same player.

“He can dictate games, he gets into pockets of space and he is a quality player. If he can get fully fit and last 90 minutes, then we will be laughing.”