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Page last updated at 19:07 GMT, Sunday, 29 August 2010 20:07 UK

Boss Craig Brown admits Motherwell were second best

Motherwell manager Craig Brown
Brown admits his team were leg weary against Celtic

Motherwell manager Craig Brown conceded his jaded side had not done enough to earn points in the 1-0 loss to Celtic.

Daryl Murphy's second-half penalty gave the visitors victory at Fir Park in the lunchtime kick-off.

"We didn't do enough," Brown told BBC Scotland. "We've had nine games since the start of the season, six in the Europa League and three in the SPL.

"And, with the best will in the world, although the boys are fit, they're a bit leg weary, the edge was off them."

Motherwell, like Celtic, had suffered an aggregate defeat in a midweek Europa League tie.

"Celtic could come and make changes from their European match in midweek, they've a bigger squad, and I just felt that we were second too often in the match today," said Brown.

"We didn't create much at all. Right at the start we had a chance, John Sutton had a chance at the beginning, but usually we create more.

It's getting quite close to the window but we could do with reinforcements

Craig Brown

"But I've got to compliment Celtic, they played well. The goalkeeper wasn't tested greatly, but nor was our goalkeeper.

"We've got to be fair and say that Darren Randolph saved some orthodox shots. He had one very good save early in the game, but he didn't have to make miraculous saves to keep Celtic from scoring.

"And the penalty was the most softly conceded foul."

Brown accepted the challenge by Steven Saunders on Shaun Maloney merited the award of a penalty but was unsure whether the Motherwell defender should have been sent off.

"Maloney is on his left side, his weaker side, he's going away from goal," he said. "I said to Steven, whose an outstanding young defender, that he's got a lot of work to do to score.

"He actually leant on him very slightly, I've looked at the tape. I've also looked at Dougie McDonald's positioning. It's easy to give a penalty for the Old Firm with the fans behind that goal. He's an excellent referee, an honest guy. He was so prompt with his decision.

"It was a challenge. We thought it was a shoulder-to-shoulder challenge. There was a slight handling over Shaun Maloney's shoulder from Steven. In the middle of the park, it might have gone unpunished.

"The foolishness was on our part, on Steven's part because he shouldn't have made any challenge at all. He should keep running alongside him, keep forcing him away from goal and, if he gets a shot away, I felt with the form our keeper was in it would've been a save.

"We conceded possession in midfield very softly (in the run up to the penalty) and, when you do that against good players, you're liable to be punished. The nature of the goal makes us feel very disappointed, but I've got to be honest and say Celtic were the better team."

With the transfer window due to close on Tuesday, Brown says he will continue to try to strengthen his squad.

"That's our hope, but that remains to be seen," he added.

"We've been speaking to the chairman, whose very supportive of our attempts here, but I've to have a further chat with him, hopefully tonight, maybe tomorrow.

"It's getting quite close to the window, but we could do with reinforcements and that's no disrespect to the guys that have done very well for Motherwell since the start of the season."

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see also
Motherwell 0-1 Celtic
29 Aug 10 |  Scottish Premier


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