Motherwell manager Stuart Kettlewell has defended goalkeeper Liam Kelly despite a dip in the Scottish international’s form.
The Steelmen’s club captain was at fault for goals against St Johnstone and Ross County, but his manager believes his critics are too quick to forget his successful periods at the club.
“Liam (Kelly) by his own admission would tell you he made a mistake, he made a mistake for a goal, he’s the first guy to acknowledge it. There’s no point in me sitting here going over old ground. I always believe when a player sticks his hand up to mistakes and errors then how much can you keep going over it?
“What I’d also allude to is the save he makes just after it, Chris Kane goes through, and he makes a stop with his feet which is an important save. Ultimately, we got a point out the game as well.
“What everyone wants to do is jump onto the negatives and latch onto the negatives. If you ask Liam (Kelly), could he have done better for a goal against St Johnstone or a goal against Ross County? Absolutely he could.”
The ‘Well boss will hope to end a dismal run of thirteen consecutive matches without a win when they travel to the SMISA stadium to face St Mirren this weekend.
He was asked if reserve goalkeeper Aston Oxborough could challenge Liam Kelly for the number 1 jersey but he stood by his captain. The manager added:
“But if you cast your mind back to a couple of weeks ago, he was man of the match at Celtic Park and all of that as well.
“I’ve got full confidence and full belief in Liam Kelly. There’s a reason why he’s an international goalkeeper. There’s a reason why he’s had some real good spells at this football club and why he’s the captain of this football club.
“As always with goalkeepers it’s highlighted. When people are down, we love to kick them and all the rest of it, so from my side of things, if you’re asking me the question, do I believe in him? 100%. I believe in him 100%.
“But that’s not to detract from the fact I believe we’ve got a fantastic number 2 goalkeeper in Aston (Oxborough).
“The one thing Aston doesn’t have at this point is match experience. He had some game time in the Viaplay Cup at the start of the season but outwith that he’s been limited in his game experience.
“What is important is that we do see every day in Aston that he is pushing Liam (Kelly), and he is in a position where we believe he could play in a Premiership game.
“In terms of selection, I’m quite clearly not going to say anything about that, but I believe we’ve got two really good goalkeepers at the football club, and we’ll work towards making the correct decision come Saturday.”