Late goals puts McGhee on red alert

Mark McGhee admits Motherwell’s habit of losing late goals is starting to worry him.

The Steelmen have conceded late goals in six of the last 10 games, with McGhee conceding that Tam Scobbie’s late winner for St Johnstone at the weekend was the ‘sorest goal’ yet because they were huge contributors to their own problems.

And, ahead of a crucial match against Partick Thistle on Saturday, McGhee has urged his side to be more streetwise and see games out.

“We weren’t really worried about that until maybe now,” he said.

“It was funny because even watching the under 20s the other day there was a bit of pressure near the end and you’re thinking ‘oh no is this something that is going through the club’, but they held out.

“I’d like to put a flashing red light on top of the goalmouth and with 10 minutes to go switch it on and everybody hear a siren going knowing that this is emergency time.

“We are going to have to dig in unless we’ve got a comfortable lead and we’re going to have to make sure we keep possession up the field, that we don’t take risks and give away unnecessary free kicks.

“We’re close to winning games, we’re not in desperate form and on our day we can beat any of them. We’ve just got to find that edge to win more games than the other teams below us. I believe we’ve got that in us.”

In-form Scott McDonald missed out against the Saints with a tight hamstring but McGhee is hopeful the Aussie striker will be available against the Jags as he sees him as a vital part of the team.

“To play the way we want to play we need Scott McDonald. He holds the ball up, he’s a thorn in the flesh, he never gives the opposition back four a minute’s rest and he can score a goal as he showed the other night he scored two terrific goals.

“When he’s in goalscoring form you certainly want him in the team. He’s very important to us and we hope to have him back.”

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