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Page last updated at 17:30 GMT, Thursday, 30 December 2010

Stuart McCall is confirmed as new Motherwell manager


McCall relishing 'Well challenge

Former Scotland midfielder Stuart McCall has been confirmed as Motherwell's new manager, succeeding Craig Brown in the Fir Park role.

McCall, who previously managed Bradford, told BBC Scotland that he was looking forward to the challenge at the Lanarkshire club.

The 46-year-old signed a two-and-a-half-year contract and took training at the club on Thursday morning.

"I am excited by the job and will give it my all," he said.

McCall's first match will be the Lanarkshire derby against Hamilton at New Douglas Park on Saturday and the former Rangers midfielder is confident in the abilities of his squad.

He is a natural leader and has impressed us enormously with his thoughtful assessment of how he will go about the job.

Motherwell chairman John Boyle

"I know Motherwell very well as a club and have long respected what they are all about," McCall added.

"They have produced some special talent over the years and done so in an entertaining way.

"It's a family club at the heart of the Scottish game and they are doing all the right things to be successful and sustainable.

"I have inherited a good squad with a proven system for identifying new and young talent.

"I want to build on that starting today to ensure we compete for success in the league, cup and Europe."

Motherwell chairman John Boyle was quick to praise the leadership qualities and experience he sees in McCall.

"In Stuart we have secured the services of a proven winner with huge experience in the game and all of the attributes on our target list.

"He is a natural leader and has impressed us enormously with his thoughtful assessment of how he will go about the job.

"All Motherwell fans will wish Stuart every success and a long and happy tenure at the club."

Sunderland chief scout Ricky Sbragia and former Blackburn Rovers assistant Neil McDonald withdrew from the process after being interviewed.

Former Oldham Athletic manager Dave Penney emerged as a possible candidate, with his experience in England's lower leagues appealing to the Motherwell board.

But the Fir Park club turned to McCall, the former Everton and Rangers midfielder they originally interviewed 11 days ago, as the man to succeed Brown, who he played under for Scotland.

A second round of talks were held on Wednesday, with Motherwell emerging impressed with the man who won 40 caps for Scotland and was a key player at Ibrox in the 1990s during Walter Smith's first stint as Rangers manager.

Prior to that, he had made his name as a combative midfielder at Bradford, to whom he returned after Ibrox, and Everton.

He finished his lengthy playing career at Sheffield United in 2004-05 and became manager at Valley Parade in May 2007.

The Leeds-born boss threatened to leave at the end of the following season when Bradford failed to make the play-offs, then quit in February 2010 after a run of poor results.

Motherwell defender Steven Hammell revealed that McCall had visited the players in the dressing room after the match at Celtic Park on Wednesday.

"Stuart came in and introduced himself after the game. We spoke about the game and had a chat about things that we can be doing better - especially after the first half," Hammell told the club's official website.

"I'm looking forward to impressing the new manager, and that is what we all need to do, starting on Saturday with a win against Hamilton."

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see also
Celtic 1-0 Motherwell
29 Dec 10 |  Scottish Premier
Blackman could stay at Motherwell
29 Dec 10 |  Motherwell
Bradford City boss McCall quits
08 Feb 10 |  Bradford
McCall set to end career
09 Oct 04 |  Sheff Utd
Hughes keen on Motherwell vacancy
16 Dec 10 |  Motherwell
'Well withdraw Aberdeen complaint
16 Dec 10 |  Scottish Premier
No rush for new Motherwell boss
14 Dec 10 |  Motherwell
Brown confirmed as Aberdeen boss
10 Dec 10 |  Aberdeen

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