Motherwell boss makes Scotland blueprint plan ahead of Hibs clash

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Stuart Kettlewell believes Scotland's win over Spain can serve as an example for his Motherwell team to pull off similar shocks – starting with Hibs at Easter Road on Saturday.

The Fir Park manager hopes the feelgood factor from Tuesday's Hampden triumph can drip-feed into his club, not least because goalkeeper Liam Kelly was in the Scotland squad. But he will take bigger lessons after watching Steve Clarke's game plan come to fruition against a country who almost reinvented the game and dominated world football earlier this century.

Kettlewell, whose side face Hibs at Easter Road on Saturday, said: “I just thought it was a real shot in the arm for the game in this country in terms of how Steve set up the team and how they played, I thought it had a real identity.

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“Do you try and out-pass Spain or play out from the back against Spain? It was a brilliant example of what we should be as a nation and how we maximise our strengths.

Motherwell manager Stuart Kettlewell wants to emulate Steve Clarke's ScotlandMotherwell manager Stuart Kettlewell wants to emulate Steve Clarke's Scotland
Motherwell manager Stuart Kettlewell wants to emulate Steve Clarke's Scotland

“If I look at Motherwell and other clubs across the country, I just thought it was a brilliant example of how to set up a team and execute a game plan against a top, top side. I have thought long and hard about this since watching the game on Tuesday and it aligns with a lot of the stuff that I look at in terms of how we approach a game.

“You look at the shape of a team, energy levels, the buy-in from players, I could go through every facet of the game. I respect Steve hugely. If that comes into smaller teams, for example, playing against bigger teams, that general idea of how to set up I thought was a fantastic blueprint."

After Kettlewell won his first game in charge in early February, he stressed the need to "remember we play in Scotland" and do the fundamentals right before anything else.

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He said: “I think you can work on things over time and improve aspects, whether that is passing out from the back, patterns of play, how you play in the final third. You can spend time working on those aspects to add layers on and become better through time, but I don't think you ever just click your fingers and look at how Spain play and say 'right, we will do that against that team and be better at it than them'.

“I thought when Scotland were in possession they were good, so it's not just to say it was this robust, industrial type of football. But I thought it had a real good Scottish identity to it with the passion, the energy, the desire to get a result along with a number of aspects that us within coaching and management will look at within the game.

“Everything you do has to be relevant to the players you have at your disposal. That's not to demean them in any way, shape or form. I actually look at it the other way, you want to maximise their strengths. I think that's your job as a coach or a manager to find that.

“You want to make it as crystal clear for the players as you possibly can and, if I go back to Scotland, every single player on the pitch looked as if they knew what their role was and even the substitutes knew their job and probably who they were replacing.”