Motherwell: Use Lee Erwin as inspiration, urges Ian Baraclough

Lee Erwin in action for Motherwell
Erwin played 40 times for Motherwell

Young Motherwell players have been urged by boss Ian Baraclough to follow in the footsteps of Lee Erwin and prove themselves worthy of big-time moves.

Striker Erwin has joined Leeds United after the 21-year-old spent a season in the Well first-team.

"The likes of Jack Leitch, Dom Thomas and Craig Moore have got to look at players like Lee," said Baraclough.

"He came in for 10-11 games, showed what he can do and has got himself a move to the English Championship."

Erwin came to the fore at the end of the season, scoring five goals in the final nine games of season that ended with Motherwell beating Rangers in the play-off final to retain their place in the Scottish Premiership.

The 19-year-old Thomas impressed on a lesser scale, making 15 appearances, mainly from the substitutes' bench, after making his debut in December.

Asked if the winger could emulate Erwin, Baraclough told BBC Scotland: "It depends if he wants to put his mind to things. He certainly has a chance in his ability.

"He has got to improve physically, he's got to improve in his tactical know-how - when to do his little bit of magic on the ball and when to pass, when to move to enable the team to do well.

Dom Thomas in action for Motherwell
Dom Thomas broke into the Motherwell match-day squad after December

"But he's got the tools to allow him to do that and we are going to try to coach and nurture him into a more rounded player.

"He is not the only one. Luke Watt came in as well as a young player, probably didn't expect to get near the first team, but he made four, five or six solid games that he can be proud of and we'll build on that."

Defenders Simon Ramsden, Fraser Kerr, Zaine Francis-Angol, midfielders Iain Vigurs, Paul Lawson and Stuart Carswell and forwards Adam Cummins and Bob McHugh were experienced players among those released at the end of the season.

"We start afresh with a smaller squad but no less quality hopefully," said Baraclough.

"With the likes of Lee Erwin, Dominic Thomas, Chris Cadden, David Ferguson, there's a good crop of young players coming through and they need to be given their chance.

"I am a big advocate of combining the under-20s with the first-team group so that there's a familiarity there and that's part of our remit.

"You've also got to make sure you've got the right blend of players and we've got some really good experienced pros that we'll have again next season that will form the backbone of the team.

"The likes of Stephen McManus, Stevie Hammell and Keith Lasley will be very important to the group along with those young players you bring through your ranks or one or two you bring in."

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