Football - McCall hopes Higdon stays

Motherwell manager Stuart McCall is hopeful of keeping Michael Higdon beyond the end of his record-breaking season.

PA Sport
Football - McCall hopes Higdon stays

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Stuart McCall hopes Michael Higdon, pictured, stays at the club

Clydesdale Bank Premier League top goalscorer Higdon took his tally for the campaign to 24 league goals with a double in a 3-1 victory over Dundee United, breaking a club record in the process as well as keeping Celtic waiting to clinch the title. McCall is cautiously optimistic that Higdon can agree a deal with chief executive Leeann Dempster.

"He has certainly made all the right noises," he said. "The more goals he scores, the harder it will be, but I certainly know he is settled in Scotland and he enjoys it here.

The Liverpudlian surpassed 1970s Motherwell hero Willie Pettigrew's post-war record tally for top-flight goals in a season with two long-range strikes.

Higdon is out of contract in the summer and his goals, 25 in all competitions this term, cannot have gone unnoticed at clubs with bigger budgets than Motherwell.

"It's obviously down to finance but certainly, when we have spoken, he's waiting for us. Obviously Leeann has been caught up with all of this reconstruction stuff but I know Leeann has been speaking to his agent.

"Before he gets to 30 goals, we will hopefully get him signed up. I'm not overconfident but whereas with Darren Randolph and maybe another there is a very slim chance of keeping them, I think Michael is happy where he is and I have always been one, if I am happy where I am, I don't go chasing an extra couple of quid. There is a lot to be said for contentment and enjoying your day-to-day work."

Higdon notched his first goal after two minutes, firing in off the top of the post from 25 yards following great skill from James McFadden. Henrik Ojamaa doubled the lead with some direct play six minutes later and, after Randolph had pulled off some good saves, Higdon struck 10 minutes after the interval. Jon Daly pulled one back and United threatened a comeback but Motherwell were comfortable in the final stages.

United boss Jackie McNamara bemoaned the concession of Ojamaa's goal, which gave his side too much to do so early on, with the Estonian running through the heart of the home defence after Higdon had laid off a throw-in.

McNamara said: "The lads have shown they have the ability, there are just certain things we need to work on; mental toughness and responsibility in their jobs, not just in defence but as a team; switching-on and concentration, that was costly for us on Sunday (against Celtic) and again, from the throw-in."

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