He hasn’t let Romelu Lukaku out his back-pocket after a tussle during the Belgian striker’s Everton days – but Bevis Mugabi has continued to grow in Motherwell colours.
The Ugandan international’s season has been disrupted by two separate shoulder injuries but he has impressed over his 35 claret and amber appearances since joining the club in 2019. It’s prompted manager Graham Alexander to hand him a new contract until the end of the 2021/22 season, something Mugabi was happy to sign.
He said: “I feel like it’s been a year of growth for me personally and I feel like I have come to that point in my career where I am one of the leaders within the squad. With that comes responsibility. I have to perform. That’s the pressure I have to put on myself to be the best I can be in training and on game days.
“I feel like I have definitely built on that and my performances have shown that. It feels good that I have peace of mind for next season, especially after my shoulder injury. There wasn’t much uncertainty, as soon as I got injured, the gaffer wanted to keep me anyway.
“I always had that in the back of my mind. Then it was just a case of putting pen to paper. Everything seems to be going in the right direction in terms of things opening back up again so hopefully by the time we come back for pre-season, things will be back to normal.”
Motherwell travel to Formartine United of the Highland League this afternoon in Scottish Cup third round action, a very different test to when Mugabi faced Everton with Yeovil Town in the English League Cup. He missed a match with Manchester United as well, but he had an Everton striker and winger to deal with anyway.
Mugabi, pointing to his pocket, explained: “We had a couple of good ties against Man United at home in the FA Cup and played Everton away in the Carabao Cup. I played against (Romelu) Lukaku and (Yannick) Bolasie, I think they are still in there! I’ll maybe let him (Lukaku) out when he returns to England, or comes to Scotland!
“I played left-back and the manager told me to do a job on Bolasie, and that’s what I did. Man United, I didn’t get to play, I got injured the day before the game and was heartbroken. I pulled my hamstring, but it was good for the club.
“The stadium was sold out and the atmosphere it caused and the buzz around the town was nice to see. But that’s only going to inspire me to go on another cup run.
“We know we haven’t performed particularly well this season and this is something to improve our season and give the fans something to look forward to as well. It’s extra games to prove ourselves.”
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