O'Donnell: Motherwell thriving under McGhee stewardship

Motherwell captain Phil O'Donnell says the players are thriving under new manager Mark McGhee.

Well played Hibs off the park in this week's CIS Cup win and O'Donnell, 35, said: "He gave us one of the hardest pre-seasons I have ever experienced.

"Players always moan about pre-season, but he really did work us hard on the physical side of things. Some of the lads lost six or seven pounds in weight and you can see the benefit of it in the way they are playing. If we can put in performances like the one on Wednesday night, then everyone is going to be happy.

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"The manager also has us in every Sunday for a cool down and a session in the gym. Sunday was a traditional day off, along with a Wednesday if we didn't have a midweek game, but he has changed all that. We get one day off a week now, normally a Thursday, and it is working well. Everyone was moaning about it at the start, but we can all see the benefits now.

"The players are believing what the manager is telling them. He wants to play exciting football, he wants to attack all the time and the players are taking it on board. At one point during our game against Aberdeen recently, we had five strikers on the pitch.

"He also expects the strikers to be the first line of defence, with the front three interchanging position all the time and making it possible for us to play as high up the pitch as often as possible.

"We have had a few games this year when we have played really well without taking our chances, but it all came together for the lads against Hibs and for a 30-minute spell in the first half everything clicked."

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