Motherwell manager Stephen Robinson has delivered an unfortunate update on midfielder Liam Donnelly.

The Northern Irish utility man can play a variety of positions and was a key player for the Steelmen last season as they finished third. But he’s not played since the opening day after picking up a knee problem.

Donnelly will be missing until 2021. (Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images)

It’s ‘a little bit worse’ than initially thought according to Robinson. He says the battler will be missing until the start of 2021.

“Liam has had an operation,” said the Motherwell boss. “He was down seeing the specialist on Thursday. It was a little bit worse than we feared, so we are looking at being into the new year before we see Liam back again.


“We’ve been unfortunate with things that have gone against us. It was innocuous. Nobody was near Liam when the injury happened. It’s been a big blow. He will be a big miss to us but Mark O’Hara is playing in that position at the moment and doing well.

“We’ve got some younger kids in Barry Maguire and Dean Cornelius who are doing very, very well at the moment. It’s just when you throw those. younger boys in.”

Kipre’s big break

Elsewhere, the Motherwell manager provided comment on the rise of former Well man Cedric Kipre. The Ivory Coast youth international was signed by Robinson in 2017 following his release from Leicester City.

He’s gone from strength to strength since his sole season at Fir Park, now ready to ply his trade in the Premier League after signing for newboys West Brom. He’s been in contact with West Brom’s new man as Robinson says it’s an example of the pathway at Motherwell.

Leicester City v Wigan Athletic - FA Cup Third Round

Kipre is a West Brom player. (Photo by James Williamson – AMA/Getty Images)

“I’m delighted for big Cedric, I’ve been texting him,” said Robinson. “He’s a boy that will keep his feet on the ground and an example to lots of young players.

“He had the disappointment of being released by Leicester. He came up here and transformed his career through hard work. Obviously he’s really talented boy, but more to the point, a really good human being.

“He’s a really nice kid and it’s nice to see the good guys doing well. He’s an example that it’s not the end of the world if you get released from clubs and you can go again. I think it’s a great example of how you can get back to the top.”

St Johnstone challenge

Looking ahead to Motherwell’s home match with St Johnstone this weekend, Robinson knows a win by any means will ‘breed confidence.’ Searching for their first victory of the season, the Well boss says his players must learn to ‘win ugly.’

Celtic v Motherwell - Ladbrokes Scottish Premiership

In need of a win. (Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images)

“In terms of results we haven’t had the start (we wanted) and we can’t hide away from that,” said Robinson. “There’s been positives without end product. So what we’ve worked on for the last two weeks is trying to get that end product, a little bit of simplicity really, more numbers into the box, more crosses into the box and that steely determination not to concede goals.

“At the end of the day, both six-yard boxes win you football matches and what you do inside those dictates whether you win or lose. Everything else around it is just pretty pictures and patterns.

“So we’ve concentrated very much on that and just a little bit more steeliness and know how into winning football matches. We have to learn to win ugly. And whatever way you win games, confidence breeds.

“We’ve got players in the group that will control football matches will play good football but we have to make sure we compete on the other side of it as well.”

Have something to tell us about this article?