Motherwell have improved under manager Graham Alexander – but replacing captain Declan Gallagher and Allan Campbell will be a new challenge says Stephen O’Donnell.

Gallagher and academy graduate Campbell will both leave Motherwell at the end of their contracts, having been mainstays in the team again this season. O’Donnell was linked with a move away himself but rumours were squashed as the Scotland international signed a new deal until 2023 prior to his summer contract expiry.

Celtic v Motherwell - Ladbrokes Scottish Premiership

O’Donnell is staying in Motherwell. (Photo by Ross MacDonald/SNS Group via Getty Images)

O’Donnell is looking forward to what the summer brings at Fir Park but knows how difficult replacing Campbell and Gallagher will be: “We have been brilliant since he came in and we were close to getting top six. There will be a turnover of players which is going to happen at most clubs in Scotland.

“It’s been a difficult season, on and off the pitch in regards to Covid and other things. The gaffer will get the opportunity to bring in his own players and hopefully, he’ll get to keep the ones that he wants to keep. It will be hard replacing guys like Declan and Allan. Both of them have been brilliant in the time I’ve been here.


“It’s the manager’s job now to take care of that. I’m sure he will try to keep those standards high. Declan’s not played the last couple of games and we miss him. We will need to replace him and Allan.”

Motherwell v Celtic - Ladbrokes Scottish Premiership

Campbell blow. (Photo by Craig Foy/SNS Group via Getty Images)

Motherwell were underwhelming in their final game of the Scottish Premiership season, losing 2-1 to Ross County as they finished the term in eighth. Alexander’s job was to keep the club in the top flight, arriving in January amid a relegation scrap.

They achieved safety with ease but the foot can’t be taken off the pedal says O’Donnell: “We aren’t good enough as a team to take the foot off it and that’ll be the same next season. We need to make sure that doesn’t happen or let it creep in. It wasn’t even close to being a massive game. Since the turn of Christmas, we’ve had real good form and the form in the split has been brilliant.

“But we leave on a sour note and I hope that all of us, the ones who aren’t going to be here next season and the one who are, reflect on it and don’t let it creep in elsewhere in their careers. I would have loved to finish the split with four wins and a draw.  It would have been a great return and set us up for the start of next season.

“It didn’t happen but it’s still a positive from where we were when everybody was telling us that we were getting relegated. We’ve shown good character and had a couple of big games where we came back and got good results. We need to have personal pride and be good enough to keep the standards high everyday. We were a wee bit off.”

NTOF now offers a YouTube channel featuring exclusive interviews, post-match discussion, in-depth debate, and much more – LIKE and SUBSCRIBE and don’t miss any of our videos.

Have something to tell us about this article?