February 19, 2013
McCall yet to speak to McFadden
Team Stat Comparison
|Goals for *||1.8||1.1|
|Goals against *||1.3||1.5|
|Last 5 home||W-W-D-W-W||L-L-L-W-D|
|Last 5 away||L-L-W-W-D||W-L-D-D-D|
|* Goals per match - home matches for home club and away matches for away club|
|Stats: Motherwell | Dundee United|
Motherwell manager Stuart McCall again tried to dampen fans' expectations of James McFadden signing a contract - but he will talk to the Scotland international about his future later this week.
McCall insists he has not had any serious discussions with McFadden, who has been training with his former club after leaving Sunderland, despite mounting speculation the 29-year-old is about to sign a deal with the club where he launched his career.
McCall said: "The latest on James is that he has been in training again this morning (Monday) and is going to come back tomorrow.
"Hand on my heart, as I keep reiterating, I have not spoken to James.
"The only thing I have said to James in the last four or five days is 'give me 20 press-ups' because he keeps doing the wrong drills.
"I'm fully focused on tomorrow's game (against Dundee United). But obviously with everyone discussing it now, things will have to come to a head and I'll have to speak to James, but it certainly won't be before Tuesday night's game.''
Motherwell will move five points clear in second place if they beat United, and 10 points ahead of the Tayside club.
McCall said: "What can be decided in the next couple of weeks is if we will be in the top six.
"If we win our next couple then it will give us a real good guide.
"Obviously the team in 11th could quite easily finish in the to six or even the top two.
"It's all about consistency but we have been in a good run of form.''
Motherwell defender Simon Ramsden is fit for the clash.
Ramsden went off against Inverness on Saturday with a suspected broken hand, but X-rays proved there was no fracture.
Motherwell are still without the suspended Keith Lasley and Fraser Kerr.
Dundee United manager Jackie McNamara expects to have a fully fit Willo Flood.
Flood came off in the first half of Saturday's 6-2 defeat at Celtic Park while suffering from the remnants of a flu bug.
United will be without Gavin Gunning after the defender suffered a knee injury that could finish his season.
McNamara has challenged his players to bounce back from their heavy defeat at the hands of Celtic.
The Tangerines went down 6-2 to the champions in what was McNamara's first defeat since taking over from departed boss Peter Houston, and saw them slip from sixth in the table to ninth.
United have a quick opportunity to make amends when they visit Fir Park for their rearranged league clash with second-top Motherwell and McNamara is urging them to seize the opportunity.
He said: "I thought Celtic were good on the day but we didn't help with some of our defending.
"But now you've got to look for a reaction and I know they're a good bunch.
"I was disappointed more than anything with how things turned out at Parkhead. We've gone there and scored a couple of goals, and missed a penalty.
"And having watched it again, we get the goal and we're celebrating and they go and hit one up the park and get a corner and score from it.
"It's good that we have this game so soon to try and get that out our system.
"It's a good opportunity to go there and show what we can do, so hopefully we can come back with a positive result.''
Despite the loss against his former club, McNamara maintains they can still take some positives into the clash with Stuart McCall's high-fliers.
He said: "We created a few chances at a difficult venue and we scored a couple of goals.
"It gives me a lot of encouragement that we've got lads there who can go and hurt teams, as we know, but we've got to concentrate on the defensive side as well and make sure we do our job better in that respect.
"We know there are things there that defensively we need to work on.
"It's fair enough if you are getting carved open or guys with ability beating your defenders, but not just scoring a header from a corner.
"They are cheap goals to lose so that's what disappoints me most.''