Ke­own in con­tention for start at In­ver­ness

The Herald - Herald Sport - - LADBROKES PREMIERSHIP - GRAEME MCGARRY GRAEME MCGARRY

PARTICK THIS­TLE man­ager Alan Archibald says he may pitch new sign­ing Niall Ke­own straight into the start­ing 11 for tomorrow’s trip to In­ver­ness.

Read­ing de­fender Ke­own com­pleted his move to the Jags on loan for the rest of the sea­son on Wed­nes­day af­ter­noon, but he has been train­ing with the club for the past few weeks.

The trip to La Manga al­lowed both par­ties to size one an­other up, and both player and man­ager liked what they saw of one an­other.

And with sus­pen­sions to key play­ers and the de­par­ture of Ziggy Gor­don to Jagiel­lonia Bi­ałys­tok, he could get an early chance to show the This­tle sup­port just what he can do.

“It’s good that he’s been with us for a wee while and we could get a look at him, and he could get a look at us,” Archibald said.

“It doesn’t feel as if it’s just a new sign­ing this week be­cause he’s been part of the group al­ready.

“We’re de­lighted to get him signed up. He’ll be in the squad for Satur­day and we’ve no con­cerns about play­ing him.

“We have a cou­ple of sus­pen­sions with Danny Devine and Ab­dul be­ing out, so he comes into con­tention.”

Ke­own has fea­tured just twice for Read­ing, but that doesn’t con­cern Archibald, even though he ad­mits he wouldn’t nor­mally take a punt on some­one with so lit­tle first-team ex­pe­ri­ence.

“I like the type of de­fender he is, and that’s why we’ve went for him,” said Archibald. “There were other guys out there, but we felt we were bet­ter to go with the younger, hun­grier type.”

With Devine ab­sent, it will be a re­lief for This­tle fans to hear that Liam Lindsay should be fine for the trip north after re­cov­er­ing from surgery on his nose.

“It was more of a pre­cau­tion that he didn’t play last week,” Archibald ex­plained.

“He’s fine, he’s got a mask that he can wear for pro­tec­tion but it’s hor­ri­ble. It makes him look even worse. It’s a big black one. It’s aw­ful, he looks like Zorro or some­thing.” Mother­well have com­pleted the sign­ing of For­est Green winger El­liott Frear (right) for an undis­closed fee.

The 26-year-old signed a two-and-a-half year deal with the Steel­men yes­ter­day, after scor­ing once and claim­ing eight as­sists in this sea­son’s English Na­tional League.

He is a player that has been tracked by the club for some time, and he was pleased to fi­nally com­plete the move north of the Bor­der.

“I’m de­lighted. It’s been a long win­dow, to be hon­est, be­cause I know there was in­ter­est last sum­mer. But it’s been good to get up here this morn­ing and I’m just glad to get it done,” Frear said.

“I know a few of the boys here al­ready from play­ing in the Na­tional League so I’m re­ally look­ing for­ward to get go­ing.”

Frear hopes to fol­low in the foot­steps of some other Mother­well sign­ings from a sim­i­lar level who have gone on

MOTHER­WELL man­ager Mark McGhee has re­vealed that Scott McDon­ald was on the bench against Rangers last Satur­day be­cause a po­ten­tial move to Aus­tralia left “his head all over the place”.

The striker was ab­sent for the first hour of the match and the ex­pla­na­tion given was that he was nurs­ing a back in­jury, but McGhee con­firmed yes­ter­day that was not ac­tu­ally the case.

Hav­ing not trained prop­erly with the rest of the squad who had pre­pared thor­oughly all week for the Ibrox test, his man­ager felt un­able to pitch him in from the start.

He is likely to re­turn to the Mother­well start­ing 11 as they face Rangers at Fir Park on league duty tomorrow though, after seem­ingly de­cid­ing to re­main in Scot­land.

“Scotty was dis­cussing the pos­si­bil­ity of go­ing back to Aus­tralia, but he seems to have set­tled on not go­ing back,” McGhee said.

“This thing went on all week and to blos­som after mak­ing the switch to Scot­land’s top flight.

He said: “That was one of the main things re­ally – along with sign­ing for a big club like Mother­well – see­ing the likes of Louis Moult and Marvin John­son go on to do well here, so hope­fully I can make the same im­pact and kick on.

“I’m just an out-and-out winger to be hon­est. I play on the left side and I like to get at peo­ple and cross it – that’s my game.

“I got nearly 50 as­sists over the past few sea­sons so hope­fully I can em­u­late that up here.”

His new man­ager Mark McGhee is hop­ing the nat­u­rally left-sided player can fill the void in his squad that was left after the de­par­ture of Marvin John­son late in the sum­mer trans­fer win­dow.

“He’s a true winger, a left-sider and I’m re­ally pleased that we’ve se­cured his sig­na­ture be­cause he brings a bit of bal­ance to the squad,” said McGhee.

NORTH­ERN SOUL: Ke­own will be in This­tle’s start­ing 11 tomorrow after im­press­ing Archibald.

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