"He's a great player": Motherwell goalkeeper Liam Kelly backs Scotland ace Stephen O'Donnell after mixed Euro campaign with Scotland

Motherwell goalkeeper Liam Kelly has revealed that defensive team-mate Stephen O’Donnell’s fine display in last month’s battling 0-0 Euro 2020 draw for Scotland against eventual finalists England at Wembley came as no surprise to him.
Liam Kelly addresses the media on Tuesday morning (Pic by Craig Goldthorp)Liam Kelly addresses the media on Tuesday morning (Pic by Craig Goldthorp)
Liam Kelly addresses the media on Tuesday morning (Pic by Craig Goldthorp)

O’Donnell was excellent against the English, having been heavily criticised on social media for his performance in the Scots’ 2-0 loss to the Czech Republic in their group opener at Hampden.

"Of course you see the criticism, you’re aware of that,” Kelly said.

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“I watched SOD play the way he played against England every week for us so it wasn’t a surprise to me he played like that against England

"And I didn’t think he was that poor the game before either.

"I’m delighted to see him doing well. I had no doubts that he could do really well.

"He’s a great player. He’s played really well for Steve Clarke and for Scotland. ”

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Motherwell received a massive boost this summer when Kelly signed a permanent three-year deal with the club having impressed greatly when spending the second half of last season on loan from QPR at Fir Park.

The goalie has been mentioned for a place in the international set-up, which looks a distinct possibility if he can repeat his excellent performances of last term.

“Getting back into the Scotland set-up was a topic of conversation a lot last year,” Kelly said.

"But my focus is honestly just on playing well for Motherwell that’s all.

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"Train well first and foremost to get in the team, try and keep my place in the team and then if what I’m doing for Motherwell’s good enough for Scotland, brilliant. If not, then I just keep trying to do well for Motherwell.”

Kelly also gave his thoughts on ’Well’s Premier Sports Cup group opener against Queen’s Park at Firhill tonight (Wednesday).

He said: “Saturday (a 2-0 friendly defeat by Millwall) was my first 90 minutes this season and I really enjoyed it.

"It was good to be back out on the pitch, a tough game against a good English Championship team.

"I’m looking forward to Wednesday and a really tough game against a team that’s just been promoted from League 2. We’re well aware of how tough the game on Wednesday’s going to be.”

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