Motherwell manager Graham Alexander believes his squad is in a “good place” ahead of the trip to Tannadice to take on Dundee United – but admits he doesn’t want to talk too much about after a string of injury problems during his time at Fir Park.
Robbie Crawford is the only absentee from the squad for Saturday’s game and the Motherwell boss thinks he is reaping the rewards of the work done during pre-season.
Motherwell lost 2-0 to Celtic last weekend and, with Crawford set to miss a month of action, Alexander wants his players to push themselves to the limit.
“Apart from Robbie Crawford who is out, everyone else is fit and trained this week,” Alexander said. “We have a full-strength squad to pick from.
“It’s a good position to be in. I don’t like to talk about it too much as I know what it’s like! The way the players train is helping that availability.
“And it’s not just about being available – it’s about being fully fit and available. I could be available if needed, but I wouldn’t help us win any games as I can’t run!
“It’s about pushing the physical boundaries as far as we can without breaking down. That’s the work that has gone on from the off-season into training.”
The former Scotland international has had some hard questions to answer from his players in recent weeks over team selections – with three first-team players chapping the manager’s door this week after missing out against Celtic.
“I’ve had players in the last week who have started games for us this season chapping on my door,” Alexander continued. “I want that to be the case.
“When I’m putting the squad together, I wanted a situation where I am leaving excellent players – who I trust – out of the team and squad. I want that as I want a team who can compete with each other.
“That’s been the case. I put myself under pressure by creating that squad. I know over the course of a season that helps us. I hope the players know how much I value them all.
“I know I can trust them whenever they are selected. There’s healthy competition in the squad and they are fully respectful of the player playing ahead of them.
“I’ve been in situations before where it’s been easy to leave players out. But when I spoke to the three players this week who wanted to be involved, it was hard for me to actually justify my decisions.
“I’m talking small margins, the opposition, taking every scenario into account. But I know there are players who were outside our playing squad last week against Celtic who could come into the starting XI at Dundee United.”
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