Stuart Kettlewell says he “completely disagrees“ with criticism aimed at Motherwell goalkeeper Liam Kelly.
The Well shot-stopper has come in for criticism after the Steelmen crashed out of the Scottish Cup in a 2-1 defeat to Greenock Morton on Friday night.
Motherwell are unbeaten in their last five Scottish Premiership games and the loss to Dougie Imrie’s men was their first of 2024.
Kettlewell conceded his side need a reaction when they travel to Pittodrie to face Aberdeen on Wednesday night, but launched a defence of Scotland cap Kelly.
He said: “Liam is as good a professional as you are going to come across.
“He’s possibly one of the best characters I’ve come across in football in terms of his mentality and what he knows he is capable of.
“I disagree with that (criticism) completely. He’s been a real consistent performer for this football club.
“Yes, as the goalkeeper, if there’s a mistake people want to label blame at you. You are there to be shot at.
“But from my point of view, you look at the influence he has been during his time at the club, not least the fact he is our captain. And we’re delighted to have him as our captain.
“One thing I can assure you of is that there is no one who dissects things more than Liam. If he feels he is culpable for a goal or a situation in a game, he is the first person to stick his hand up.
“I really enjoy his integrity and he is not scared to take blame for anything. I know what he will do for the remainder of the season and this is to get his head down and do his job.
“He’s a terrific influence to everybody else around him and I don’t expect that to change anytime soon.”
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