Kettlewell: Van Veen 'as important' to Motherwell as Kyogo is to Celtic

The Motherwell manager was full of praise for the Dutchman, who is the first player to hit 20 goals since 2014.

Kevin van Veen has been hailed as being as important to Motherwell as the Premiership top-scorer Kyogo Furuhashi is to Celtic.

Stuart Kettlewell was full of praise for the Fir Park forward who is the first player to score 20 goals at the club in nine years.

The Dutchman, who signed for Motherwell from Scunthorpe United two years ago, has been a key reason for the Steelmen revival under Kettlewell and scored a brace in the 3-1 win over Hibs last weekend.

They now sit eighth in the league and nine points ahead of Ross County who are in the relegation playoff spot at second bottom.

Speaking ahead of their game against Livingston on Saturday, Kettlewell said: “He’s got a real belief in himself, which is great, I think we are often reluctant to pitch out goals and tell people that you feel you’re a good player and feel you are in good form.

“What I love about Kevin, even from the day I came in, he always had a belief he could go beyond 20 goals this season, that was his target.

“When you listen to him he always speaks about the team and how he can help the team and how his teammates help him. So it’s not just a case of him looking to reach his goals, he knows if he can do that it will help with teammates and help the football club and he realises that he needs them to help him get to that as well.

“I love the fact that he’s pitched out there that he wants to break records and he feels like he can get in and about that.

“Come what way he’s had a good season, but I do know he has a burning desire to push boundaries. And we know with the form he is in, if we create chances then he will take them.”

When asked by if Van Veen was as vital to Motherwell as the likes of Kyogo, who has scored 26 in all competitions this season, and Alfredo Morelos have been for their respective clubs he agreed and insists it’s the type of players that every manager needs.

“I think every team needs a goal scorer and every team needs a guy that you can trust to put the ball in the back of the net when an opportunity arises.

“And I think yeah, if you look at the guys at the top clubs then he is just as important to us.”

The manager also revealed that a string of first team players including Stephen O’Donnell, Ricky Lamie, Shane Blaney, Harry Paton, Joe Efford, Jack Aitchison and Riku Danzaki all put their hands up to take part in a reserve game in midweek.

Kettlewell says he was encouraged to see them want to get some game-time after missing out in the victory of Hibs.

STV News is now on WhatsApp

Get all the latest news from around the country

Follow STV News
Follow STV News on WhatsApp

Scan the QR code on your mobile device for all the latest news from around the country

WhatsApp channel QR Code