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Motherwell continued their fine run of form as Craig Tanner's early goal gave them a 1-0 win over Dundee at Dens Park in the SPFL Ladbrokes Premiership, and moved them up to third place in the table.
That means it was time to catch up with the lads from MFC Podcast to hear their views about Motherwell's current form and the loss of Louis Moult.
Last time around, Motherwell came out on top at Dens, were in the League Cup Final and sat nicely in third place of the Premiership. Since then, your form has been night and day compared to the start of the season, only picking up four points from nine matches. What’s happened?
I think the final has played on our minds a little, but the biggest factor has been injuries - we've lost five of our best players and that's had a direct effect on results.
Are you worried that after being comfortable in the top half in the early part of the season, the teams at the bottom seem to be closing the gap?
Of course, when you are on a bad run you can't help but fear the worst, but I really believe we have a good squad and an excellent manager - we'll be fine, I hope...
Louis Moult is also set to leave in the January window. You’re due to get a good transfer fee for someone who’s contract is due to expire in the summer. Are you happy with this bit of business despite home being your main striker?
I'm not answering this, still in mourning. Seriously though, Louis has been unreal for the football club. We can't grudge him the chance to test himself further and I think we're all delighted he won't be playing against us.
Have you got a ready-made replacement lined up or has there been any whispers about his possible replacement?
Stephen Robinson will certainly be on the case, no whispers as yet, but we'll keep you in the loop!
There has been a few reports linking Motherwell with spending some of the money from the Moult sale on our inform midfielder Mark O’Hara. He has been offered a new deal with the club with many expecting him to sign it. Is this the type of player you would like to see in your side though?
He looks like an excellent player, I think it's exactly the type of player we should be looking at - it'll be interesting to see how it goes.
You’ve just played four consecutive games away from home, all ending in defeat. Will getting back playing in front of your home support give the team a much needed boost?
I really hope so, it's been a disappointing run, but I've not really lost the belief we are a good side. The game against Dundee will be tricky, especially with the boost you guys got last weekend.
We come to Fir Park with hardly the best away record but our results have picked up. Also, Saturday’s performance and win over Partick has morale riding high. How do you see this match panning out?
It's gong to be tight I reckon, hopefully we end up on the winning side, but you guys have a nice Christmas!
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The Dark Blues were unchanged following Sunday’s victory over Rangers. Motherwell made two changes. Zak Jules and Carl McHugh came in for Stephen McManus and Keith Lasley.
The Dark Blues started impressively, passing the ball around confidently and holding the ball well. The opening goal, after six minutes, however, was a horrible defensive mix up. Kevin Holt’s corner was cleared only as far as Cammy Kerr, 30 yards out. He lifted the ball back into the gap between the advancing defence and keeper Craig Samson. It would have been an easy take for the goalie, but Zak Jules jumped and got just enough of a touch to send the ball looping back over the helpless Samson and into the net.
Dundee were much the better team and looking fully capable of extending their lead. Frustratingly, the Dark Blues conceded a poor equaliser. The Dee failed to deal with a high free kick into the goamouth. The ball fell to Louis MOULT, and he scored easily with a low drive past Scott Bain.
That was after 21 minutes, and the Dee’s response was hugely impressive. Well vanished from the match for the rest of the first half as the Dark Blues took charge and ripped the home defence to tatters.
Even before the Dee went back into the lead they had Motherwell reeling under a series of dangerous attacks. Well held out for six minutes before Paul McGowan sent a deep cross beyond the far post. Mark O’Hara headed back for Marcus HABER to take the ball on his chest, turn and rifle his shot past Samson.
Four more minutes and the Dee scored again at the end of a sweet and patient passing move. Craig Wighton shielded the ball just inside the penalty and played it back to Paul McGowan, who shaped to shoot. Instead he opened up Well’s defence with a pass through to Mark O’HARA to take a touch before crashing in number three with a fierce cross shot.
Another four minutes and the Dee were 4-1 up. Henrik Ojamaa sent James Vincent to the byline, and his low cutback caused chaos at the near post. Ojamaa couldn’t turn the ball in, so he served the chance up on a plate for Craig WIGHTON to hammer in the fourth goal with the home defence in disarray.
The Dark Blues pressing, swift passing and hard running put them in total control with Dundee players finding space all over the pitch. Dundee’s performance was so impressive that a fifth goal before the half time whistle looked inevitable. It didn’t come until injury time when Craig Wighton flighted a free kick to the far post where Marcus HABER rose to head in number five.
In comparison the second half was a quiet affair. The points were safe in the bag, and Dundee saw out the match comfortably. Motherwell kept plugging away, but were going through the motions. Scott Bain pulled out two good saves from efforts by Craig Clay, and Darren O’Dea almost gave Well a consolation when he swiped at a a cross by substitute Elliott Frear, sending the ball against the outside of the post. Dundee attacked mainly on the break, always looking dangerous, but there were no more goals to be had.
The only moment of real concern for the Dundee fans after half time was the sight of Mark O’Hara leaving the pitch on 62 minutes after taking a knock. Danny Williams came on to play on the left with Craig Wighton moving to the right.
All through the team Dundee were outstanding today. The defence was aggressive, well organised and taking no unnecessary chances. The Dee midfield dominated their anonymous home opponents, and in attack Dundee were far too smart for Motherwell. When the ball had to be contested Dundee’s attack bullied Well. When the Dee had the ball they had the imagination and skill to slice their way through the home defence.
The first half performance was absolutely outstanding; this was as good as it gets to be a Dee on a road trip. Dundee might have had more goals than the four they scored in that blistering last 20 minutes before half time.
Dundee’s formation suited the players perfectly, and each man played his part to perfection in the Dark Blues’ biggest win in the top division since November 2000. Now the challenge is to maintain the level of performance the players have shown they are capable of in these last two wins.
McMillan, Heneghan, Jules, Chalmers (Frear 61)
Cadden, McHugh, Clay, Pearson
Unused subs: Griffiths (gk), Bowman, Lasley, Lucas, Ferguson, Hastie.
Goal: Moult (21).
Booked: Heneghan (foul on Haber), Moult (foul on Etxabeguren), McDonald (dissent).
Dundee FC 4-4-2
Kerr, Etxabeguren, O’Dea (c), Holt
O’Hara (Williams 62), McGowan, Vincent, Wighton (El Bakhtaoui 87)
Ojamaa (Hateley 82), Haber
Unused subs: Ferrie (gk), Ross, Gadzhalov, Gomis.
Goals: Jules og (6), Haber (27, 45+1), O’Hara (31), Wighton (35).
Booked: Vincent (foul on Moult).
Attendance: 4,002 (619 very happy Dees).
Referee: Stephen Finnie. Assistants: Kylie McMullan, Sean Carr. Fourth official: Andrew Dallas.
Report: James Christie.