Scottish Premier League

Draper calm over European chase

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Fri, 03 May 2013 17:19:00

Police have released images of the nine people they want to speak to regarding the disorder after Wolves' final home game of the season.

Approximately 300 people who were sat in the home end invaded the Molineux pitch following last month's 2-1 loss to Burnley.

A number of stewards were assaulted and damage was caused to the dugout, part of one of the stands and several advertising hoardings.

Officers have been working closely with the club and want to hear from anyone who recognises any of the people in the images and can help to identify them.

PC Sean Cockerton, from West Midlands Police football unit, said: "The scenes at the final whistle last weekend were completely unacceptable and we are working hard to identify those involved.

"It was a very disappointing end to an otherwise exciting and trouble free game.

"We would ask the people in those images to come forward and speak to us and we would also appeal to anyone who can help identify them to call as soon as possible."

The defeat to Burnley left Wolves on the brink of successive relegations.

The Frenchman revealed planning work, including construction and renovation of the 11 mooted venues, was well ahead of schedule in comparison to last year's hosts Poland and Ukraine at the same stage.

"For UEFA, things are progressing well," he told reporters. "Today there were plenty of green lights, and some that were more amber.

"Four years ago with Poland and Ukraine all the lights were at red.

"I was very happy that the colours this time were different.

"In Ukraine, stadiums were supposed to be finished in 2010 and some of them were completed in March 2012.

"I hope the stadiums in France are ready as quickly as possible."

Lille's new 50,000-seater Grand Stade Metropole, which was completed last year, is one of two stadia already ready for the tournament along with the Stade de France in northern Paris.

President of the organising committee Jacques Lambert said that stadiums in St Etienne and Marseille were halfway through renovation with work on grounds in Bordeaux, Toulouse, Lens and the Parc des Princes in Paris to start soon.

A new stadium in Nice is due to be completed next year while Lyon's 58,000-capacity Stade des Lumieres is scheduled to open for the 2015-16 season.

"There is no situation that is currently out of our control," Lambert said.

It was also announced that a logo for the tournament, which will be expanded to include 24 teams, would be unveiled on June 26.

Caley Thistle head the way to join Motherwell and Scottish Cup finalists Hibernian in the Europa League but their lead in the race for third was cut to one point when they fell to a 1-0 defeat at St Johnstone last weekend.

Ross County's victory over Dundee United the previous night had closed the gap to two points and Inverness face their Highland rivals on the final day of the Clydesdale Bank Premier League season.

Caley Thistle have two home games before them, starting with in-form Motherwell tomorrow.

And Draper is confident they can handle the pressure of the three-horse race for Europe.

The Englishman said: "We knew at the split we had five tough games. We knew it wasn't going to be decided over the first two games when we know going to Celtic is tough and St Johnstone are doing well at the moment.

"We saw the next three games as the games we were expecting to pick points up. We are not panicking that the others have closed the gap.

"Everyone has to play each other and I think you will see in the next few weeks hopefully we can pick up some points and increase that gap.

"We have got three games where we don't have to travel. We know we can match anyone at home.

"We back ourselves to get over that finishing line and finish the season off as what we deserve, really."

Caley Thistle have taken points against every team but Motherwell this season and their games against the Lanarkshire side have been the difference between the teams in the league.

Motherwell lead Inverness by nine points and 12 goals - the same number they have put past Terry Butcher's side in three matches.

Draper said: "They are a terrific side but for some reason they have done especially well against us.

"It's a game we need a lot of preparation for. We have been planning to stop that and see where their main threat is and where we have gone wrong in recent games.

"We know we have to be on our game and put them under pressure to get anything."

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