13 August 2023

Stuart Kettlewell delighted with Mika Biereth’s impact on debut

13 August 2023

Stuart Kettlewell hailed the impact of debutant Mika Biereth after the Danish striker came off the bench to inspire Motherwell to a 2-1 victory over Hibernian in the cinch Premiership.

The Arsenal loanee laid on Conor Wilkinson for the opening goal of the game before adding one of his own in wonderful style with five minutes of the match remaining.

Adam Le Fondre netted from the penalty spot in injury time to set up a nervy finish at Fir Park, but Kettlewell’s side held on for their first three points of the season.

“He was excellent when he came on, we know he’s got quality,” Kettlewell said.

“He’s still a young lad and probably in that development stage of his career. Coming from a club like Arsenal we knew he was a good player.

“I’m delighted with the impact, you don’t ever know if it’s going to be like that first off, but certainly from the wee bits we’ve seen in training, he starts to look like the sort of guy that will excel at this level.”

The Well boss was pleased at his side’s discipline during what was often a physical encounter.

After a drab first half, the hosts controlled much of the game after the restart and deservedly claimed the win.

“I though we were good throughout the day, we were disciplined, well-organised and probably in the second 45 started to carry a greater threat in the final third,” he added.

“Overall, it’s a pleasing day for us but I keep saying it, it’s not a case of sitting and resting on our laurels – we’ve got a lot more to give.

“It was a little bit of stand-off as a game in the first half but you’ve still got 45 minutes to rectify that and become a greater threat, which we did and deservedly got our three points.”

Hibernian boss Lee Johnson felt fatigue was a factor as his team were unable to recreate the highs of their Europa Conference League victory over Luzern.

Johnson was forced to rotate his squad for the meeting with Motherwell and he admitted that his side were feeling the strain of their recent busy schedule.

“We conceded two really poor goals of a weak disposition in terms of a physical battle for those two moments in the game,” he said.

“I feel like the output of Thursday probably had a bit of an effect in terms of the zip – the difference in the mental concentration was chalk and cheese in the two performances.

“Three days apart is a bit of a stretch for us at the moment, we’ve got six first-team starters out at the moment and ideally we’d have rotated the squad a little bit more.”

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