Celtic and Rangers may have been the teams leading the way for Scottish football in Europe recently – but Declan Gallagher hopes Motherwell can shine a positive light on the Scottish game too.
The Well are in Northern Ireland for a massive Europa League second round qualifier against Coleraine. Whilst Oran Kearney’s side are part-time, they showed their own strength in the last round.
They eliminated Maribor away from home, a team no stranger to eliminating Scottish sides from Europe. It proves that Motherwell will have a tough test at the Showgrounds but Gallagher wants to put Scottish football in a good light, having beaten Glentoran 5-1 in round one.
Whilst Celtic and Rangers have been regulars to group stage European football, it has been 13 years since a team outside Glasgow has managed that. The Well captain knows how big the Northern Irish Well test is.
“It’s massive, not just for the club itself but massive for Scottish football as well,” said Gallagher. “Celtic and Rangers are carrying a big burden to always get to Europe.
“I think it’s probably time that other clubs in this league start progressing and start showing that Scottish football is a good league. The gaffer has good knowledge of a few of their players, he has given us insight into how they might play and shape up.
“So it is good knowledge, and Trevor Carson knows a few of the boys as well. So we will be well prepared and we’ve been doing our homework. We watched clips of the Maribor game, they are a hard-working team, well-organised so we know it’s going to be a really tough test for us.
“Saturday was probably the worst we played and yet we got three points. That’s football for you. I didn’t think there was anything to panic about and now we have picked up those first three points I think we will kick on now.”