It’s been a summer like no other for players around the SPFL – but Motherwell captain Declan Gallagher is looking forward to getting back at it in Dingwall.
The Well kick off their 2020/21 campaign with a long trip north to Dingwall this evening, looking to build on the success of a third place finish last term. Ahead of the new campaign, Gallagher has been made club captain after Peter Hartley’s departure.
Players have to adapt to life under new COVID-19 measures. Social distancing, masks and sitting apart are all things players have had to get accustomed to, and although fans won’t be present in Dingwall either, Gallagher is determined for the Steelmen to start strong.
“I’m buzzing for it, it’s been a long time coming,” said Gallagher. “There’s been a big difference in pre-season in terms of the boys haven’t been together from the start. Even in the changing room things aren’t the same because we’re having to social distance.
“For some of the newer boys coming in it’s maybe been a bit harder but we’re slowly and surely getting there. We done well last season but with the budget we work under, we need to stay in the league first and foremost.
“There’s no givens in this league. We’ll be aiming to push for the top six, stay in the league and finish up as high as possible.. It’s going to be difficult playing without fans, it’s going to be difficult playing without them.
“But we have to build our on atmosphere. We’ll just have to get used to it. It’s a very far away game but you’d rather go up there in the summer on a warmer day than going up there in December. Last time I was up there I scored a winner, it was a hard game up there.
“We know we’re going up there for a hard game, Ross County are a good team at home. It’s a dream for me to captain a club like this too so I’m just buzzing to get the armband on.”
There are Scotland games looming too. In just a couple of months, Steve Clarke will pick his Scotland squad to face Israel and potentially Norway or Serbia for a place at next year’s European Championships.
Gallagher won his first Scotland caps whilst at Motherwell last year and he’d love to be part of a potentially historic Scots squad: “It’s always in the back of my head but I need to do it for my club first before I think about another cap.
“I got my call-up last time because I was doing it for Motherwell so if I play well hopefully I’ll catch the eye of Steve Clarke again. The games coming up are massive for the country and I want to be part of that personally.
“But it comes down to my form here. If I’m not playing well here, obviously I’m not going to be the best pick for my country. Hopefully I’m doing it here and I get that call-up.”