Motherwell boss Hammell eager to get back into action against Celtic

Steven Hammell said he fond the international break 'frustrating'.

Motherwell boss Steven Hammell eager to get back into action against Celtic SNS Group

The international break might have given Steven Hammell his first chance to reflect since he abandoned his holiday to take charge of Motherwell two months ago.

However, the 40-year-old could not shake the frustration of the previous two matches when his side failed to convert 46 shots as they collected one point from the visits of Dundee United and Hearts to Fir Park.

Hammell has put the feeling to good use by swotting up on Saturday’s opponents, Celtic, and doing everything possible to ensure his side start getting the results he feels they merit.

“I struggle with turning off and reflecting,” said Hammell, who was on Arran when he got the call to take charge, initially on an interim basis, on July 29.

“The last two weeks haven’t been good for me because I have been thinking about the last two results, the points we gathered and what I felt our play deserved.

“We feel, especially the last two games but in general, we should have a couple more points than we already have.

“So the break has been a frustrating time but it’s been a chance for us to individualise, get people up to speed and give people who have been carrying things a bit of time. So we have used it to our benefit as much as we could.

“It was more of a frustration but an eagerness and willingness to rectify that.

“We have watched every game back. We don’t over-indulge with the stats but everything we look to do in terms of possession, chances, where we are creating chances from, expected goals, are all at a high level within the league. It’s just that conversion rate.

“One thing we know at the weekend, you are not going to get 10, 12, 15 chances. It’s important if we get there we are clinical. It’s something we have worked on.”

Hammell has also devised a game plan to take on the cinch Premiership leaders, who are aiming to bounce back from defeat against St Mirren.

“Over the last week or two I have watched some part of every game they have played in the last two years,” said Hammell, who has played in Motherwell’s last three wins at Celtic Park going back to 1999.

“We have not over-analysed it but we have looked at what they are good at, which is a lot. But we have also looked at what we think we can do as a group in terms of how it suits us.

“There’s always tweaks, we always look at the opposition, but it’s always more important what we are doing and how we approach the game and what suits us but being fully aware of what the opposition’s threats are.”

Hammell joked he would get his substitutes to take the balls away from the side of the pitch to try to combat Celtic’s relentless approach.

“The ball in play at Celtic Park is as close to 100 per cent as you will probably see,” he said. “The ball comes in and it doesn’t stop.

“They get the ball in quick, the ball boys are on form as well. It’s a clear style, an impressive style. Individually they are good but collectively they are really good. You can tell they have been coached well, which takes time and effort.” 

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