Sinclair, Johansen, take-a-pop Rogic, precocious Nesbitt


After losing at home to Newco last month Motherwell comfortably overcame three lower league sides in the League Cup before delivering an excellent win at Rugby Park on the opening day of the league season. They will pitch up at Celtic Park tonight hopeful of catching Celtic with their eye on the European prize.

For Brendan Rodgers tonight will not only be an important cup game he wants to win, it’s another opportunity to improve the fitness of his squad ahead our Summer Cup Finals against Hapoel Beer Shiva, the first of which takes place one week from today.

Having only played 30 minutes so far this season, Scott Sinclair will be behind the rest of the squad in terms of match fitness and may be asked to play 90 minutes tonight. Stefan Johansen is another who could do with a full game under his belt. As for the others, it’s a balance between building endurance but making sure they get enough rest ahead of next week.

Tom Rogic’s new contract has been universally welcomed. I was late to the Rogic Appreciation Society, but it all came together last season. One of the specifics he brings is the ability to shoot from outside the box. Celtic play against packed defences most weeks (Scott Sinclair will learn that the space he exploited at Tynecastle on Sunday will be a rarity), so being able to take a pop from distance offers vital variation.

Keep an eye on Aidan Nesbitt’s progress on loan at Morton until January. Aidan (19) was at Partick Thistle for the second half of last season. Young, creative players don’t get prime billing in the bottom half of the Premiership, so a move to the Championship should give him a better platform to but on his precocious talents.

No mistakes tonight, Celtic.


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    Forrest has looked braver and confident in the past two games, hence the deal.


    The Griff is even better, More of a team player hence the goal against hearts.


    Lustig getting back to where he was.


    Roberts looked better before he got injured.


    Janko and Eoghan both wouldn’t have got game time under Ronnie either and Efe would still be getting pelters on here.



    The whole team seem to be playing with more drive and purpose and that has came since Ronnie left, Not saying anything against Ronnie as we have all had our say.



    Midfield is still stalling with Callum and Armstrong, So Brendan might see Rogic as the solution there.




  2. Klv,



    All about opinions I suppose but most of the players you mentioned haven’t improved any imo. Early days and hopefully they all will. :)



    Forest Defo looks more up for it. Maybe the hunt for a new club wasn’t going so well ;)



    Being a happy clapper means I don’t post much negativity but I’m just not quite seeing this massive difference that many seem to be seeing.



    Loving the positive vibes though.




  3. It serves no real purpose to denigrate Ronny so as to praise Brendan .Any improvements, real or imaginary, MIGHT have happened even if Ronny had stayed. It is impossible to say. Just as it is impossible to prove something does not exist……unless you are involved with Hearts, of course, then the SFA ( ?) have to prove that no contact was made !!!









    Looking forward to motherwell game now.



    Keep on improving.




  5. SOUTH OF TUNIS on 10TH AUGUST 2016 12:21 PM


    I think Australia’s finest export was The Saints .




    Went to see them in a boozer called The Hope and Anchor in 77 .. Great ! Fabulous version of This Perfect Day . A choon that nestles in my – To be played at my funeral box.





    A blast from the past. One of the best punk bands. I’ve still got their first album on vinyl. I never saw them, but strangely recall them on an episode of ‘The Saint’ (true).

  6. About eighteen months ago, I said that if James Forrest remained injury free , he had the talent to be a £20 million pound player. For whatever reason, he stalled somewhat but I am very glad he has signed up as I still believe there is a wonderful player in there. Support from the Home crowd would , I am certain, help make him the player he can be. Also, Patrick on one wing and Leigh in the middle means doubling up on either of our wing men could lead to serious problems for the opposition.



  7. blantyretim is praying for the Knox family on

    No sign of anyone with a desert tan in the Blane


    Aw well of to the PV

  8. Gordon


    Lustig, O`Connell, Izaguirre.



    Forrest, Brown, Armstrong,Rogic, Sinclair.





  9. Sometimes it’s great to get your dates muddled.


    Like when you’re sure you’re in London for work next Wednesday when actually it’s next Thursday- ya pure dancer!!!



    Tickets bought for me and the Roo Bhoy!



    Forrest? I thought his time with us had past. But new manager, new setup, new chance?


    What I will say is that if we’d seen the role he played in the first goal against the Diets on Sunday then we’d be clamouring to sign him up.



    HH jamesgang

  10. BT



    Usually plenty of fake tan on show.


    Especially when SOAL pitches up!






    HH jamesgang

  11. TD



    Happy birthday to your Mum



    Very, very many shoot returns to her. Hope your family have a wonderful time with her.



    HH jamesgang

  12. I didn’t realise the Aussies invented wine in a box.



    Going to a 21st on Saturday the ole wine box trick will be used…it stays on the table with the birthday wrapping kept on whilst being drained during the night :-))

  13. To be fair, I don’t think Ronny ever lost to the wee huns



    I remember a few decent performances at Tynecastle. The praise for Rodgers may be a wee bit over the top.

  14. timaloy29



    We have more resolve and aggression under Brendan. The games take care of themselves if you set up right to begin with.




  15. BMA



    Yes they are good company , I was with them in the Cafe last Tuesday , always a good night , if you can remember it!!

  16. Timaloy29



    Few could have wanted Ronnie D to succeed more than I did. And few cut him so much slack for so long.



    But my son and I would sit and watch Plan A make no inroads and then (often bewildering) subs with too little time to make a difference.



    Contrast that to Sunday. BR subs to go for the 2nd goal then changes again to consolidate once we’re ahead.



    Also the dig to win games in the balance is already apparent in the same way that it was previously notable through its absence.



    Early days I’ll readily concede but the early signs are that BR may well the manager we hoped for.




    HH jamesgang

  17. Focus, stamina, skill, courage.



    Some players have high levels of it all. Very few. And they rarely play in the Scottish Premier League since the advent of Sky and TV cash globally. Larsson, obviously. To some extent a few more of the Seville team.



    MON’s coaching bridged the shortfall in some of those others. Out with the elite band of players the coaching becomes crucial to the success of the career of those deficient in one or more category.



    I could write paragraphs on each element and subcategories of motivation, physique, spees etc and apply to different players. But the cases in point right now where the fans are split are the boys who have just signed extensions, and our new signing.



    I don’t know enough about Sinclair, he’s clearly had a tough time, but the narrative around his signing is the Rodgers effect, particularly from the boy himself. His career to a large extent now hinges on man management and coaching. I’m looking forward to this with optimism.



    I have always been on the top end of the scale among the support for James Forrest. As frustrated as many on occasion, but he has the skill and of all of these factors it’s the hardest to coach and therefore the fundamental that makes him worth the effort. The focus is clearly something that can be trained into a professional. We must know by now the stamina levels he has and therefore how many games, and what part of these games he can contribute to. This is key for James. Courage comes with confidence and team ethic. Huge similarities to Maloney whose career was re-born as an impact sub and then went on to player of the year. I have renewed hopes for James, contingent on Brendan and his team.



    Rogic also has the skill, I have much more concern about his stamina. This is an interesting one and I live in hope rather than expectation. All in all the squad movements show how much work there is to do to mould it to his squad and it won’t all be done in this window. Fascinating times.



    Mon the hoops

  18. Delaneys Dunky on

    Happy that Tom Rogic and James Forrest have signed extended contracts. If they can fulfill their undoubted talent, then Brendan will have two stars in his squad, with a sell on value. We could have lost them both for nothing if their contracts expired.

  19. Someone should tell Robbie Nielson how the SFA suspension system works.



    Demanding that the SFA provide “substantive proof” to support the suspension shows how little he knows about the relevant standard of proof.



    Balance of the old probabilities Robbie, none of your Beyond Reasonable Doubt stuff.



    Ask Derk Borrigter, or Aleksander Tonev. They’ll tell you all about it.



    In fact Hearts evidently know as much about that process as they do about the process for registering players with their own football association.



    In his post match interview on Sunday, Robbie complained that they didn’t know that the SFA were open for registering new players (like their new Polish defender) on Saturday morning.


    “We couldn’t complete it by 5.00pm on Friday when the SFA closed.”



    Scott Sinclair was registered at 10.11 Saturday morning, while Hearts let their new man, Nowak, have a lie in.



    Hearts have the kind of Company Secretary that would fit in perfectly at the administratively challenged Scottish Football Association.



    Oh wait, they’ve already done that with EBT Ogilvie.




  20. For the horsey men – a sentimental bet – King of the Celts – 4pm Beverley.




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