Keown in contention for start at Inverness
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.