Thursday, July 22, 2010

SPL In Europe: Breidablik v Motherwell

Strange how life works out.

18 months ago Craig Brown would only have popped to Iceland if he'd heard they had a decent reduction on Werther's Originals.

That was then. Now he's masterminding Motherwell's Europa adventure.

With a 1-0 lead from the home game Motherwell have travelled to Iceland with a slim advantage over Briedablik. Brown is confident his team can get an away goal. But he's also had them practicing penalties so he's leaving nothing to chance.

The Herald reports that Jocky Scott has been leading the scouting missions for Brown. Oddly enough this is being interpreted as a good thing:

"Brown sent Jocky Scott to Iceland for a week to watch Breidablik play twice, and the former Dundee manager returned with two thick dossiers. Ahead of last week’s first-leg, which Motherwell won 1-0, Brown arranged a training match with the Fir Park club’s under-19 squad as opponents. The youths played according to Scott’s analysis of Breidablik, using the Icelandic side’s formation and tactics. It was so meticulous that the players even wore the same shirt numbers as the men they were impersonating."

Meticulous preparations or not, Motherwell might be in for a rough time:

"During his spying mission, Scott met up with Jim Bett, the former Rangers and Aberdeen midfielder who is now a coach at Valur. Bett described Breidablik as the best passing side in Iceland, and worthy of their place at the top of the league. The observation was in keeping with Scott’s own views"

Breidablik might not have offered a huge amount in the first leg but 1-0 is hardly a disaster for them. Could be a tough match for Motherwell tonight.

The Scottish Football Blog's line is unconditional support of all Scottish teams in Europe this year. Time to get a bit of a respect back for the SPL.

Unfortunately experience of many an early season Euro disaster dictates that I offer that support in the spirit of hope rather than any sense of expectation. I'd be delighted Craig and Co. can prove me wrong.

* Elsewhere tonight Hibs will find out their opponents in the next qualifying round as Videoton and Maribor meet in their second leg after a 1-1 draw in the first game.