Carl McHugh: Scotty's a big loss... I hope Louis and Ben stay

In the wake of key striker Scott McDonald's announcement that he's leaving Motherwell, Irish star Carl McHugh is hoping that top scorer Louis Moult and defender Ben Heneghan will stick around for next season.

Carl McHugh (pictured after scoring against Kilmarnock in March) hopes that Ben Heneghan and Louis Moult (both also pictured) won't follow Zak Jules and Stephen Pearson out the Fir Park exit door.

McHugh – part of the ’Well side beaten 3-2 at Inverness Caley in their final league game on Saturday – was speaking after reports that Glasgow giants Rangers and English clubs are monitoring both players and lining up offers of around £500,000 for each.

“Louis and Ben have been doing well so they’re obviously going to attract attention,” said the 24-year-old Irishman.

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“Hopefully we can keep them. The two of them have been brilliant for us.

Motherwell striker Scott McDonald has opted not to take up the option of one more year at Motherwell (Pic by Alan Watson)

“I’ve really enjoyed playing beside Ben, it’s been brilliant.

“And Moulty’s goals as we know are invaluable.

“It’s a blow for us losing Scotty. He’s been brilliant for us this season and has been a great servant to the club for many years now.

“The club’s going to have to move on and try and find someone to fill his boots.”

Motherwell striker Scott McDonald has opted not to take up the option of one more year at Motherwell (Pic by Alan Watson)

McHugh, who had four months of the last campaign wiped out after suffering delayed concussion from a horror head clash at Kilmarnock on the very first day of the season, was disappointed with Motherwell’s overall campaign.

The Steelmen remained in the relegation mix until the very last week before saving their skins with victories over Hamilton Accies and Kilmarnock in the final stages.

“I hope next season is a lot, lot better than this season to be honest,” McHugh said.

“I don’t want to be in the position we found ourselves this season.

“We did well when it came to it and we had to win a few games. We came up with a few big results but I didn’t come here to be in relegation battles.

“I want to kick on. I’ve got aspirations to do well in the league next season and hopefully the manager and the club will get the players in to help us do that.”

McHugh, who has emerged as a key man at Fir Park, is contracted to Motherwell for one more season.

He added: “I’ve really enjoyed myself and settled in really well. The club were brilliant with me when I had my injury.”

McHugh and his mates looked comfortable for long spells against Caley, but ultimately paid for a bizarre second half period when their net bulged three times in as many minutes.

“I thought we played really well in the game as well and controlled large parts of it,” McHugh said.

“I was disappointed we didn’t go ahead in the first half to be honest. We had a lot of good chances.

“But we made three mistakes in a weird, weird spell. We just had a mad three or four minutes.

“We got punished for mistakes that we made but we came back into the game well and could have maybe got something in the end if we had a few more minutes.

“It’s disappointing because we played really well in stages and it takes a bit of shine off the performance to be honest.

“The people who were here watching the game would know that it wasn’t a game we were getting battered in being 3-0 down.

“We played well for large parts of it and our application was really good.

“We kept going to the end and got a few goals back.

“But I’m disappointed. I wanted to finish the season with a win but it’s something we can maybe learn from.”