Stuart McCall chides football "hierarchy" over Steve Jennings

Motherwell midfielder Steve Jennings
Motherwell midfielder Steve Jennings has had charges against dropped by the police

Manager Stuart McCall described calls from Scottish football officials to suspend Steve Jennings as "crazy" when he was arrested last year on suspicion of conspiracy to defraud over bets.

The Motherwell boss said: "The club were under pressure at times by certain members of the hierarchy in Scotland actually wanting us to suspend him.

"That was absolutely crazy. Imagine if he had been suspended?"

Police arrested Jennings and eight others last October after bookmakers reported suspicious activity over a number of bets placed on a game between Motherwell and Hearts in 2010.

The Liverpool-born player was sent off for picking up two yellow cards.

"Can you remember the furore when it first came about?" said McCall after his team lost 3-0 at home to Scottish Premier League winners Celtic.

"When he got arrested from his bed, pre-Christmas, there was talk of him being suspended.

"All charges [have been] dropped, so will anyone face questions over that?

"At the time Steve said it was ludicrous and I think the club did really well.

"There has been a cloud hanging over him but it hasn't hindered his football, he has been terrific."

Motherwell left-back Stevie Hammell backed his team mate, saying: "I have never spoken to him about it and I speak to him every day.

"I never for one second doubted him. I didn't have the cheek to ask him about it because I know him, we are good mates.

"He dealt with it tremendously.

"It probably was playing on his mind but he didn't show it."

McCall remains confident that Motherwell can hang on to their three-point lead over fourth-placed Dundee United in the race for a Champions League qualifying spot.

"It's disappointing, not the result we were looking for, but we can't feel sorry for ourselves," said McCall of the Celtic game.

"I don't think there was any lack of desire or effort today, we just lacked a bit of quality.

"We've got to be better in the final third. It would be nice to start creating chances and taking them.

"It's all there to play for.

"We now have four big games coming up starting with St Johnstone next week."

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