Dec 19 2012 By Andrew Weston
Motherwell stopper Shaun Hutchinson admits all the focus is now on finishing second in the Clydesdale Bank Premier League after last week’s Scottish Cup exit but admits holding on to the spine of the squad is key.
A string of first team regulars are out of contract in the summer including Darren Randolph, Jamie Murphy, Nicky Law and Michael Higdon.
Motherwell expect a series of bids to come in for their star players when the transfer window opens but Hutchinson is desperate for the squad to remain together.
“The main thing after going out the Scottish Cup is to finish as high up the league as we can,” he said this week. “I think we can be up there this season (challenging for second). We have got a really strong squad who are now fully concentrated on the league. But if we can’t keep our players we will struggle because we have such a small squad. We have players like Bob McHugh who came on and scored the winner (against Hibs). So there are players that can back up but we need the spine of the team and will just wait and see what happens.”
The Steelmen crashed out the Scottish Cup last Tuesday losing 2-1 at home to Aberdeen but bounced back with an incredible 3-2 victory against Hibs on Saturday.
Hutchinson said the players were “absolutely buzzing,” having been 2-0 down with 25 minutes to go before securing all three points at Easter Road which saw them jump to second in the SPL.
He continued: “After the result midweek we were desperate to bounce back. I think we showed great spirit to come back and win. The boys were absolutely delighted. “There is nothing better when you get beaten to bounce back with a victory like that, especially winning in the last minute.
“They were in control but did not have that many chances. We knew we had it in us to come back and when it went 2-1 we believed we could do it. It was disappointing to lose two goals but to come back like we did was great.”
Motherwell will hope to continue their stunning away form this Friday night when they travel to Paisley to take on St Mirren. Saturday’s win made it four league wins in a row on the road and Hutchinson feels they are capable of making it five on Friday saying: “We will be going into the game really high in confidence. St Mirren are not doing the best this season but they have some good players and are always a tough team to play against.”