Motherwell: Ian Baraclough comfortable over Fir Park exits

Gary Owers
Owers joined Motherwell in March

Ian Baraclough is remaining relaxed despite Motherwell losing some of their top players, their goalkeeping coach and head of recruitment this summer.

The manager admits the departure of goalkeeper coach Gordon Marshall and Gary Owers came as a shock after the relief of avoiding relegation.

"We'll get a replacement in. That may take a bit of time," he said of Owers' exit after only three months.

"I'm not going to rush into that one because it's a critical area."

Marshall this week switched to Scottish Premiership rivals Aberdeen, while 46-year-old Owers, who managed at Bath, coached at Bristol City and was assistant at both Aldershot and Plymouth Argyle, has become assistant boss at Conference Premier club Gateshead.

Owers and Baraclough had been working on signing targets this summer and the manager said: "A phone call with Gary was one I did not expect, but there was an opportunity for him to get back into coaching and we can't deny him that.

"He has helped set up a recruitment department here that will go from strength to strength.

"Gordon, I only found out about a couple of days ago.

"It comes as a bit of a shock and it's something you don't want to be dealing with going into pre-season.

"But Gordon feels like it is a step up in his career and is going to work with a manager he worked with previously."

Lee Erwin in action for Motherwell
Erwin has left Motherwell for Leeds United this summer

Speaking before Motherwell announced the signing of striker David Clarkson, Baraclough admitted that being involved in the play-off final against Rangers had delayed his team building.

"We were probably a couple of weeks, or maybe more than two weeks, behind everyone else because clubs knew what division they were going to be in," he said.

"That won't be used as an excuse whatsoever. We are working feverishly to make things happen.

"We need to add to the group and we are comfortable with the way it is going at the moment."

Lee Erwin switched to Leeds United, John Sutton has moved to St Johnstone, Scott McDonald is out of contract, while 21 other players have exited Fir Park this summer.

Asked about how many will be replaced, Baraclough said: "We're perhaps looking at another five or six at this time.

"We'll wait for the right ones. There's no desperation to get somebody in.

"I'd like to have two players pushing for each position, but that may be within a 20-man pro squad because, for me, you still have to have that pathway for the youngsters to come through.

"The people we are talking to and the targets we've gone for and are continuing to look at, we're comfortable where we are."

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