Graham Alexander admits Declan Gallagher could leave Motherwell, but insists captain will remain committed on the field


GRAHAM ALEXANDER admits he isn’t certain how long Motherwell skipper Declan Gallagher will remain at the club, but he is certain that he will give his all for the cause until the day he leaves Fir Park.

Gallagher’s contract is due to expire at the end of the season, and speculation has linked him with a move away from the Lanarkshire club during this transfer window, with Celtic reportedly interested in the centre-half.

The Motherwell boss sat down with his captain this week to gauge his feelings over his future, and while Alexander can’t rule out losing the 29-year-old Scotland international this month, he is positive he will remain committed on the pitch for however long he is in claret and amber.

“I spoke to Declan in the last couple of days,” Alexander said.

“It was a real good, positive conversation. We know it’s going to be fluid for the next couple of weeks because I understand every player in the world is for sale.

“[Cristiano] Ronaldo, the best player in the world, got sold, so it’s all about circumstances and timing.

“He assured me if he is here until the end of the season he will give me and his team mates exactly what he has done in recent weeks.

“That’s all I wanted to hear. We know at any moment any player could be sold. But while they’re here I want players to showcase what they can do.

“I need to speak to [chief executive]Alan Burrows about Declan’s contract. I have always tried to keep my discussions with players purely football. It might become a bit different here in time because I think they want the manager to take a lot more responsibility in these things.

“I have read about Declan’s situation. But I always have a ‘to do’ list and never get to the bottom of it because another load of stuff arrives.

“We will assess Dec’s situation. The way he spoke to me he was clear about it. I understand as a player when you are coming up to 30 and there’s lots of different aspects – but whatever is going on outside I was always committed to my job. That’s all I ask of the players.”

One man checking in to Fir Park this week was giant frontman Harry Smith, who Alexander believes can kick-start his career in Scotland after falling out of favour at Northampton Town.

“He brings us a skill set we feel we possibly need in the squad,” he said. “His aerial threat and prowess is something we want.

“He is only 25 but he has good experience, he can hold it up and score goals. He has played against my teams before and he was part of a successful club last year.

“We play in a different way but I think we saw last week the best team in the league brought on a big striker to get a point. It is valuable to have these players. He has been involved but he hasn’t started a lot of games so we will see where he is fitness wise.

“We feel he gives us something that we have possibly been missing in the last few games.”

Smith could be involved against Aberdeen today as Alexander takes his men to the ground where he made his Scotland bow almost 20 years ago, and he is looking forward to pitting his wits against a former international teammate.

“This is why I wanted to come and take this challenge,” he said. “I wanted to take on different teams and managers, go to different grounds.

“I was in the Scotland squad with Derek (McInnes) a couple of times and played against him when he was in England. He sent me a nice message when I first came here.

“But he is a competitor and so am I. I went to watch them against Rangers and saw it is a tough venue to go. They’re a good team with a good manager.

“We have taken the positives from the Rangers game and then parked that. That’s gone now. If we want points this week we have to compete at the highest level to get to what we want.

“It’s a famous ground. I made my debut there for Scotland – we lost 2-1 to Nigeria and I came on at half-time – and that was one of the biggest highlights of my career.

“It was something I had never fully believed would happen to me. From that perspective it was a good place for me on a playing side.

“Hopefully tomorrow it can be good for me on a management side.”


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