Hapoel Be'er Sheva v Motherwell: Allan Campbell says Fir Parkers are well prepared for Israel tie
But midfielder Allan Campbell has revealed that preparations for the clash with Hapoel Be’er Sheva – ninth in the Israeli Premier Division – have been thorough by ’Well boss Stephen Robinson and his backroom staff.
The Steelmen will have to cope without Bevis Mugabi, with the defender suspended after being sent off at Coleraine in the previous round.
Campbell told the Times and Speaker: “I’m sure the coaching staff will have us all organised and ready for what’s coming.
“Mugabi will definitely be a miss. But we’ve got a decent squad and it will give somebody else an opportunity to step in and fight for their place.
“Obviously Bev’s been brilliant. Credit to him, he’s worked hard, got his chance and it’s obviously disappointing that he can’t be there.
“But I’m sure somebody else will be ready to step in and make an impression.”
The game in Israel will have to go some to be as exciting as the aforementioned success in Northern Ireland last Thursday night.
Having looked comfortable early on and going 2-0 up with goals by Callum Lang and Tony Watt, Motherwell conceded two penalty goals – including one in the final minute – to go to extra time but then won a penalty shootout 3-0 with goals by Mark O’Hara, Watt and Stephen O’Donnell, with keeper Trevor Carson heroically saving all three Coleraine kicks.
Campbell said: “It was brilliant winning on penalties.
“It was a tough game at a tough venue and the pitch wasn’t great either but I think we showed great character.
“We came away with the win and that was the main thing.
“We said before the game we just wanted to win at all costs, no matter how the game panned out.”
Motherwell manager Robinson believes his side are massive underdogs in Israel.
He said: “We are under no illusions about the level of opposition and financially they are in a different stratosphere, but that doesn’t always win football matches.
“They are a very strong team, and they have strong individuals. They have three players we have identified who can really hurt you.
“But we are going with a game plan. We went to Aberdeen with a game plan that worked very well. We’ll go with a different game plan and there’s a real positive mindset around the club.”
Meanwhile, Motherwell have signed Livingston midfielder Robbie Crawford on loan until January while youngsters Harry Robinson and Ross Maciver have been loaned out to Queen of the South and Greenock Morton respectively.