Motherwell being urged by boss Graham Alexander to raise their game for the 4,500 fans they welcome back at the weekend

Thousands of fans are expected at Fir Park for Motherwell’s first game of the new Premiership season this coming weekend, and manager Graham Alexander is hoping his team can put on a show for them.

Graham Alexander watching Motherwell beat Annan Athletic 2-0 at the weekend (Photo: Ian McFadyen)

“It’s been a quick pre-season and we’re straight into it, but we’re looking forward to the game and obviously there’ll be a good crowd in here and hopefully we can do them justice,” he told the club’s website ahead of Hibernian’s visit on Sunday, August 1.

Alexander admits getting a result against the Edinburgh team, managed by Jack Ross, will be easier said than done, their visitors having finished third in the Premiership last season, five places and 18 points ahead of his side, but results over recent years offer some grounds for optimism among home fans.

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“It’s going to be another difficult test for us next week,” said Alexander.

“It’s a top team coming to us, but we feel we’re building up towards that game quite well.

“The more senior players we get back will only strengthen us in that, but at least we’ve got a full week this week to prepare for the game and we can look after a couple of boys and maybe push a few boys on that need extra.

“We expect to be fully prepared for that game next week and we’re looking forward to it.”

The Steelmen won one of their three league games against the capital side last season, a 2-0 away victory in February and drew another 0-0 away in August 2020. Hibs claimed one victory in the league, by a 3-0 scoreline in December at Fir Park and also edged past ’Well on penalties in the Scottish Cup at Easter Road in April after ending up tied 2-2 at full-time.

Motherwell got the better of Hibs the season before, though, drawing 0-0 with them at home in January 2020 and beating them 3-0, also at home, in August 2019, with the capital side getting one win back, by 3-1, at their home ground in November 2019.

Fir Park is expected to welcome its biggest turnout for over a year and a half as 6,500 tickets are available, 2,000 of them for away fans. For details, go to https://www.motherwellfc.co.uk/