Sport Motherwell's Steven Lawless insists Hearts' cup shock will act as warning
Motherwell's Steven Lawless relishing return from injury in different position
The 29 year-old's return to Fir Park has been disrupted by injury but he's eager to make an impactThe 29 year-old has suffered from a knee complaint since returning to Fir Park in January and he made his first start since re-joining his boyhood club in the Scottish Cup win over Formartine last weekend.
Steven Lawless insists Hearts’ shock Scottish Cup defeat to Brora Rangers will act as a warning to Motherwell ahead of their trip to face Formartine United
The Jambos were sensationally knocked out by the Highland League outfit last week and the Steelmen travel north wary of another cupset on Saturday.
Formartine, managed by former ‘Well star Paul Lawson, claimed the scalp of Annan Athletic in the second round and Lawless vowed that Motherwell won’t underestimate their opponents.
“I don’t think we need any warning after some of the results that were in the last round of the competition,” Lawless declared.
Steven Lawless opens up on Motherwell injury torment as fit again winger targets Scottish Cup
Lawless returned to his first club Well in from Burton in the January transfer window but suffered a knee injury within days.But after making his comeback from that knee injury in last week’s Scottish Cup win at Formartine the January signing is finally ready to motor forward into the business end of the season.
“We know what happened with Hearts so we will be treating it like we do every other game. We need to be 100 percent professional and treat them with the respect that they deserve.
“Hopefully that will be enough to get us through to the next round but we need to put a good performance in.
“It’s a game of football and it’s just eleven men against eleven - I’m sure that will be their mentality.
“They’ll be looking to make it as uncomfortable as possible for us, try to get us out of our rhythm and hoping that we have an off day.
“We know exactly what it’s like to be the underdog and we know we will be a scalp for them.”
Formartine United’s win over Annan was their first fixture since the start of January with the Highland League still suspended due to the pandemic.
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Lawless doesn’t know too much about the Steelmen’s opponents but he knows the coaching staff will be meticulous in their preparation in the build-up to the game.
He said: “I’ve not been able to watch much of them yet but we will have team meetings this week.
“One of our coaching staff went up north to their last game so we will know as much as possible about them. There is only so much data you can get because they’ve not had many games recently.
“There’s not much footage to look at but it’s the same as playing any team in a lower division. You know that they’ll be hard working and they’ll have a gameplan to try and nullify us.
“It’s the exact same as when we go up against bigger teams so we know that we’ll need to be at the top of our game to get the result we want.
There is extra emphasis for Motherwell in the Scottish Cup this year due to Scotland’s improved co-efficient and the new UEFA Conference League.
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This season’s winners will enter the Europa League at the final play-off round and clubs will drop into the Conference League if they lose, so the 2020/21 Scottish Cup winners are guaranteed European football until December.
“I’m sure it’s something that the club will be looking at,” Lawless said on the prospect of automatic qualification for European football.
“For players, it’s not really at the forefront of your thinking because you just want to do as well as possible, try to win the trophy and achieve something special.
“Hopefully we can get into a semi-final and take it from there - that’s my aim personally. It would be massive for the club and I’m sure the hierarchy of the club will be looking for that."
Celtic’s dominance of Scottish football ended this season and St Johnstone won the first silverware of the season in the League Cup.
Lawless’ former side Livingston also reached the final and the 29 year-old is hoping to emulate the success of Motherwell Scottish Cup winning side of 1991.
“You do need a slice of luck with the draw but we know that we will need to play teams where we’d be underdogs.
“Motherwell have always been a good cup team, especially in recent years. They’ve done well to reach finals but they were unfortunate to come up against in a formidable team at the time in Celtic.
“They were flying but that’s not the case just now but they’ll be hurting from losing the league. We know that we aren’t favourites but we also know that we are good enough to do something special,” Lawless said.
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Hearts verdict: Brora defeat worst in club's history on sobering night for all - mountainous task for some now .
Hearts have been criticised for some awful results in recent years – but this was unquestionably the nadir.Hearts reached the final of this competition in each of the past two seasons but at tiny Dudgeon Park they were outdone by a gritty home side in the second round.