Cads says Stuglis hack could have been fi­nal straw

Evening Times - - SPORT - By MARK WALKER

MOTHER­WELL star Chris Cad­den ad­mit­ted he’s ex­tremely lucky he didn’t suf­fer a se­ri­ous in­jury that would have ru­ined his chances of play­ing in this month’s Bet­fred Cup fi­nal against Celtic af­ter a shock­ing lunge from Latvia’s In­gars Stuglis.

Scot­land were held to a dis­ap­point­ing draw by the Baltic na­tion, which could se­verely dam­age their hopes of qual­i­fy­ing for the Euro­pean Cham­pi­onships in Italy and San Marino in 2019. But it could have been much worse for Cad­den and his coun­try.

Scot Gem­mill’s side re­quired an in­jury-time equaliser af­ter a very soft penalty award given for pulling against Scott McKenna, the Aberdeen de­fender, which was con­verted by Rangers’ Ryan Hardie to res­cue a point against a side they had com­fort­ably beaten 2-0 in their home­land last month.

But Cad­den was even more for­tu­nate he didn’t suf­fer a hor­rific in­jury af­ter an ab­so­lute leg-breaker of a lunge out of nowhere from Stuglis, who plays for home­land out­fit Spar­taks Jur­mala.

With Mother­well fly­ing high and a Bet­fred Cup fi­nal against Celtic to come, Cad­den was a re­lieved man to come out of it un­scathed and he ad­mit­ted he lost his cool af­ter it.

He said: “The tackle on me was a bit ridicu­lous. I lost my head a wee bit and I’ve never lost my head in my life. I just saw red.

“Luck­ily enough it hit my shin pad. You can’t tackle like that below the knee, it’s a dan­ger­ous tackle and I would never ever go in to a tackle on an­other pro­fes­sional like that. If he had gone for the ball and I had touched it away from him it would be fine, but he was nowhere near the ball.

“I don’t really know who the guy is, but I said a few things af­ter the tackle. I’ll keep that to my­self though. It’s a bad tackle but I’m fine thank­fully and no dam­age, so it’s fine.”

Cad­den ad­mits he is rel­ish­ing play­ing Celtic at the end of the month at Ham­p­den.

He said: “I can’t wait. I’ve been talk­ing about it for ages while I’ve been away, tex­ting the boys and that and there is a really good feel­ing about the place. Ob­vi­ously there is a big game on Sat­ur­day against Aberdeen as well as the cup fi­nal so we are really look­ing for­ward to it.”

Scot­land face Ukraine to­mor­row in Perth too and Cad­den be­lieves Gem­mill’s boys will take con­fi­dence from sal­vaging a point. Hearts’ John Sout­tar is un­likely to fea­ture af­ter spend­ing a night in hos­pi­tal for con­cus­sion as a pre­cau­tion­ary mea­sure.

He said: “Ukraine are a good team with good play­ers and they play at a high level. We’ve just got to go out and if we play like we did in that sec­ond half we will go out and beat any­body.

“I don’t know if the Latvia game is a blow be­cause it could be an im­por­tant point at the end. It’s a good change of pace for us as well play­ing a dif­fer­ent style of foot­ball.

“You can tell the dif­fer­ence be­tween the Premier­ship and in­ter­na­tional foot­ball so it’s good for me and my de­vel­op­ment.”

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