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Last Updated: Saturday, 27 September, 2003, 00:30 GMT 01:30 UK
Well better for psychologist
Motherwell boss Terry Butcher
Psychology has helped Terry Butcher's side think about their game
Motherwell manager Terry Butcher believes the hiring of a sports psychologist is helping his players lose their bad-boy image.

Last season ended dismally for the Fir Park club, who only escaped relegation because First Division champions Falkirk were refused admission to the Bank of Scotland Premier League on a technicality.

Well's disciplinary record was the worst in the SPL and led to a fine as they picked up 11 red cards and 102 bookings.

But Butcher believes regular visits from sports psychologist Tom Lucas this season have had a beneficial effect on a team that is currently in mid-table.

"What he does is very subtle and he is a different pair of eyes and a different voice," he said.

The players are more focused, so hopefully that will continue
Motherwell boss Terry Butcher
"He is an athlete himself. But, because he is not a professional footballer, he has no preconceived ideas about football.

"I have always felt that sometimes footballers need some kind of help with dealing with the stress of the game.

"Most of the players here are young and I think they have definitely responded to him."

The facts appear to bear this out as so far Well have picked up just seven bookings this season and had one player sent off.

And even Stephen Pearson's dismissal against Partick Thistle was scrubbed from the record following an appeal so last season`s bad boys are currently the sixth best behaved this time round.

Butcher laughed: "Is our disciplinary record normal now? I don't know what is normal at Motherwell.

"It is certainly a lot better and the players are more focused, so hopefully that will continue."

Butcher has been a victim of the red mist in recent months, including one visit to Hibernian that saw a dressing-room door harshly treated by the former England captain.

And Lucas, whose other sporting clients include the Scottish netball team, has spent time trying to calm down the manager as well.

"He has helped me too - he is extremely positive and in football you need to be extremely positive," added Butcher.

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