Hearts v Motherwell reaction

Motherwell manager Stuart McCall felt his side should have had a

penalty in their 1-0 defeat at Hearts in the SPL on Sunday.

With Hearts leading through Danny Grainger’s long-range strike,

Motherwell striker Michael Higdon felt he was fouled when Andy

Webster came over the top of him to head clear.

Referee Willie Collum was unconvinced, though, and Hearts held

on to move into seventh place in the SPL.

McCall said: “I have just watched it again and I think if it’s

outside the box he gives a free-kick. I’m not one to whinge but

having seen it again, and Higgy said straight away he came over the

top of him, it does look as if a penalty would have been a fair

decision.

“But sometimes you get them and sometimes you don’t.”

Higdon missed a good chance just after the break and Nicky Law

had a header cleared off the line, but Motherwell met a strong

response from the Hearts defence.

McCall said: “I don’t think any more than a point, but I think

we merited a point. It was a terrific goal from their point of view

but poor from us.

“We have got to close the ball we know Grainger has a terrific

left foot.

“I felt for 20 minutes before half-time we controlled large

parts of it and second half we were knocking on the door.

“I think they are as strong defensively as possibly anything in

this league, the two experienced centre-halves dealt with lots of

things coming into the box.

“But I was pleased with the way we moved the ball. Hearts are a

good side, it’s a tight league and there is no disgrace losing

here.

“Other than not defending well for the goal, I felt we played

our part in a decent game and merited the goal.”

Hearts’ victory came despite ongoing problems with wages – six

players and manager John McGlynn have not received payments due on

October 15.

The second delay of the season, and the sixth in a year, has

triggered an automatic transfer embargo and the SPL are due to

discuss the issue on Monday.

But McGlynn, who said on Friday that he expected to be paid by

the end of the day, insisted it was not a problem.

“It will be sorted tomorrow,” he said. “I didn’t think you saw

the players going begging round the stands. No. it wasn’t an issue

at any time.”

Grainger’s powerful 25-yard strike in the 14th minute earned his

side their first home win in the SPL since the opening day victory

over St Johnstone.

McGlynn said: “What was the difference? The goal. It sounds so

obvious but the first goal is so important in this league.

“We may well have played better and lost. There are very thin

margins in every SPL game, there is nothing in them.

“Today we got that goal. It was a goal worthy of winning any

game.

“After that we were very solid and dogged and the team worked

extremely hard.

“We created one or two problems and they caused us one or two

problems, it was an end to end game.

“They are always going to cause problems, they are a good side

and finished third last season. Our back four were immense and the

rest of the team worked extremely hard.”

McCall had another blow to contend with after centre-back Shaun

Hutchinson limped off just before the break.

“He has got a tight hamstring,” the Motherwell boss said. “We

are hoping it’s only a slight niggle instead of a major tear

because he is a key player for us.”