Motherwell: Stuart McCall upbeat about club's European draw

Stuart McCall with his backroom team as Motherwell return for pre-season training
Stuart McCall with his backroom team as Motherwell return for pre-season training

Motherwell manager Stuart McCall is delighted his side will not face a long journey or searing heat in their Europa League qualifier.

The Steelmen will take on either Stjarnan of Iceland or Welsh outfit Bangor City.

In the past two seasons 'Well faced European qualifiers against teams from Russia, Greece and Spain.

"Two of the games were in temperatures above 90, 94 degrees, so it won't be that in Iceland or Wales," said McCall.

"That will be a bonus. And the travelling will be an advantage.

"If you look at the last three teams we've had in the Champions League and Europa League qualifiers, we couldn't have got tougher opponents.

"Look at Panathinaikos, a few of their players were in the Greece team that got through in the World Cup, Levante - who that season beat Barcelona - and last year [Kuban] Krasnodar, I think drew twice with Swansea.

"The quality we've had has been really difficult for us to progress and added to that the travel and the temperatures."

The first leg of Motherwell's second round qualifier will be at Fir Park on 17 July.

And with Stjarnan sitting second top of Iceland's top flight after 10 games, McCall admits his side "have to get up and running as quickly as we can".

He is also hoping to add to his squad, having sold striker Henri Anier to German second tier outfit FC Erzgebirge Aue.

Motherwell manager Stuart McCall takes his side for pre-season training
Stuart McCall admits 'Well side need to get games under their belt ahead of their Europa League qualifier

"We need to strengthen, there's no doubt about that, but not as much as last year when we lost six regular first-teamers," added McCall.

"Big Shaun [Hutchinson] going, we knew about, and we're delighted for him that he got a terrific move to Fulham and he fully deserves it, he's a smashing kid.

"James McFadden moving on leaves a hole, you could always rely on Faddy to do something different for us and obviously last week, losing Henri. I understand the club have got to accept the money we got for him but that was slightly out of the blue.

"We'll need a striker and possibly a centre-half too. They might come from down south, the loan market, but we'll wait and see. There's nothing on the horizon at the moment."

One player who has arrived at Fir Park this summer is Josh Law from non-league Alfreton Town.

The 24-year-old is the younger brother of Nicky Law, who left 'Well for Rangers last summer.

"If Josh is half as successful as Nicky was for us we'll be delighted," said McCall.

"He has good ability, he played at the top end of the conference last season and was one of the star performers. He can play in a variety of positions and with full time training he can improve.

"I'm not saying he's going to be a regular to start with but he's certainly got potential to force himself into the side."

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