03 August 2020 20:49
ET Extra Time HT Half Time Ross County vs Motherwell. Motherwell have handed starts to key men Jake Hastie and David Turnbull for tonight's Scottish Premiership curtain-raiser in the Highlands. Three of the Steelmen's starting 11 make their debuts to face Ross County with Rickie Lamie and Nathan McGinley handed their first starts in claret and amber. Hastie makes his second debut for the club following his return from Rangers. The line-up to face County is as follows: Carson, Grimshaw, Gallagher, Lamie, McGinley, O'Hara, Donnelly, Turnbull, Polworth, Hastie, Long.
Teams can now field five substitutes in the Scottish Premiership under new SPFL rules and options on the bench for the North Lanarkshire side include new signings Callum Lang, on loan from Wigan, and Jordan White, who arrived from County's Highland neighbours Inverness. Your first Motherwell starting team of the 2020/21 Scottish Premiership campaign. // #RCFCvMFC pic.twitter.com/T7pRoKuXsE — Motherwell FC (@MotherwellFC) August 3, 2020 Fir Park boss Stephen Robinson has been the subject of speculation today, with the Northern Irishman reportedly on the shortlist to become Bournemouth's new manager, and it will be interesting to see if that does anything to unsettle the Steelmen in the Highlands. Robinson has yet to taste victory on the opening day of a campaign with two defeats and a draw during his three seasons in charge. Follow Lanarkshire Live Sport onTwitter [email protected], like us on Facebookor find us on Instagramfor the latest sports news, pictures and video.
They'll need to hope recruits such as Livingston defender Ricki Lamie and Inverness striker Jordan White can make the same impact as Declan Gallagher and Liam Polworth before them if they want to maintain their upward curve. They'll be boosted by the return of a fully-fit David Turnbull, who missed most of last season with the knee injury which torpedoed his move to Celtic, and fellow academy graduate Jake Hastie, who returns on loan from Rangers. Manager Stephen Robinson transformed his side's style of play 18 months ago and has received plenty of plaudits for their new attacking outlook. Since Derek McInnes took charge in 2013, only Celtic have been more consistent in the Premiership than Aberdeen. But in the last two seasons - largely due to a struggle to replace the likes of Kenny McLean and Graeme Shinnie - they have not lived up to their own standards and have been beaten to third by Kilmarnock and Motherwell.
So far, the only defensive-minded reinforcement to arrive is Alex Gogic from Hamilton, but he is likely to firm up a team noted for its soft centre. The evidence of the opening weekend win at home to Kilmarnock was encouraging defensively, and they still looked a threat going forward. Motherwell and Kilmarnock have unexpectedly finished best of the rest in recent campaigns, and Livingston also upturned the odds to finish fifth last term. Kilmarnock still have a core of players that got them into Europe a couple of season ago, such as Gary Dicker, Alan Power, and Eamonn Brophy, while Lawrence Shankland's goals could propel Mickey Mellon's newly promoted Dundee United into the mix. A lot goes into recruitment within football but maybe from now on all players should be purchased if their name is the same as the club they play for? Incredibly, we have an instance of that happening in Scottish football. In some truly superb scenes, Ross County now have three goalkeepers competing for the No.1 shirt and all three are called Ross. They already had Ross Laidlaw and Ross Munro in their ranks and now namesake Doohan has joined the party. Important Football News: Ross County have just signed a third goalkeeper - Ross Doohan from Celtic. Both their other keepers are also called Ross. Repeat: Ross County have three goalkeepers called Ross. pic.twitter.com/ne4paEfQZt - Amazon Prime Video Sport (@primevideosport) August 2, 2020 Stage 1 complete. All Ross County's goalkeepers are now called Ross. Now onto Stage 2, the defence. pic.twitter.com/I1VJbVx4ZQ - Garve Scott-Lodge (@G4rve) August 2, 2020 Not content with having two Ross' competing for the starting goalkeeper berth, Staggies manager Stuart Kettlewell now has plenty of options to select from. He told Ross-Shire Journal: "It has been a bit of a waiting game for us with Ross Doohan, but fortunately Celtic were great in giving us a chance to get him into our team and get him involved. "He was desperate for a game, so he has now met the group of the players and played 90 minutes of football. "Ross Munro is also part of our goalkeeping squad here, and he gets to pitch his hat into the ring. He goes in the mix with the other two senior goalkeepers and gets the same chance to show he can be first choice." The next natural step for Ross County is obviously having a full team of Ross'. Ross Kemp would probably do a good job at centre-half and you just know Ross Geller has the intelligence needed to supply the goals up top. So much Ross between the sticks at Ross County. In fact, all three of their senior goalkeepers are now called Ross, after the club picked up Ross Doohan from Celtic on a season-long loan this week. It's also, as the news clipping above says, a three-way Ross-off for the No.1 spot. Who is the best Ross at Ross County? Currently it's Laidlaw, but surely he will feel threatened by the Rosses gunning for his position. And get this: County also have an Under-18 goalkeeper called Logan Ross on their books, not to mention their first-team striker Ross Stewart.