Stephen Craigan 'pushes right buttons' at Motherwell

Stephen Craigan
Craigan says 'there would be a lot to give up' for the Motherwell job

Motherwell players will do all they can to make sure Stephen Craigan gets the manager's job at Fir Park if he wants it, says striker Scott McDonald.

Craigan has replaced Ian Baraclough on an interim basis but is unsure about taking on the post permanently.

"He's a straight talker and he knows what buttons to push for us senior players," McDonald told BBC Scotland.

"We'll try and give him every opportunity and that means going out and getting three points on Saturday."

McDonald added: "Then it's up to him and the owner and the board, if he wants it."

Craigan steered the Steelmen to a 2-1 victory over Partick Thistle last weekend and is likely to be in charge for the forthcoming visit to Dundee as the club process 70 applications for the post.

The 38-year-old former Northern Ireland defender has temporarily stepped up from his role in charge of the Under-20s and is regular TV pundit.

He made five changes to the team which lost at Morton in the defeat that ultimately cost Baraclough his job. He also switched tactics to a 4-4-2 and restored McDonald to a central striker's role.

McDonald was on target against Thistle but singled out the contribution of returning team-mate Stephen Pearson for special praise.

"For one reason or another it didn't work out for Ian Baraclough and we're all disappointed by that," he said.

"A lot of players, including myself, have not performed how they can.

"Stephen Pearson getting injured in the first game of the season was a massive loss. He comes back at the weekend and sure enough we get a result.

"I'm not saying it was all down to Stephen but he's an integral part of what we try to do, with how we press teams.

"We've missed him a lot for his work-rate, endeavour and his quality."

Following Baraclough's departure, owner Les Hutchison said some of the club's players should "hang their heads in shame".

"If you spend as much money as that guy has and back the club as much as he has, I have no problem whatsoever with anything he want to say to me," was McDonald's response.

"I'll take it and I'll go again."