Motherwell boss Graham Alexander has welcomed the selection dilemma that captain Declan Gallagher’s return to fitness has posed.
The Scotland centre-back came off the bench late in last Saturday’s 2-0 victory over Hibernian.
Motherwell had a mixed spell after Gallagher suffered a hamstring injury. They suffered heavy defeats against Hamilton and St Johnstone but also kept three clean sheets, including in the past two matches, with loan signing Tyler Magloire settling in alongside Ricki Lamie.
“It’s not a headache for me,” Alexander said ahead of Saturday’s visit of Livingston. “It’s a headache when you are trying to put a team together and you haven’t got enough players. But when you have more than 11 good players, that’s a good position to be in for a manager.
“You have to make clear decisions and you have to decide between good players. That’s the scenario we have as managers, when almost every Friday you feel like you are rejecting good players when you are picking the team.
“We have Declan and several others who have not been in the team and are fighting to be in the team.
“There were reasons Declan wasn’t in the team, obviously because of his injury, but his reaction to training and how he has pushed himself to be fit has been superb.
“He is a seasoned professional and a quality one and we need him, and it’s good to have him back.”
Alexander expects to have an unchanged squad for Saturday’s game, which still leaves him with a full team of players unavailable.
The former Scotland international estimated he had 40 players in his squad but the ongoing injury list could deny some younger players the chance to join League One and League Two clubs on loan when the lower leagues resume later in March.
“We have had some enquiries this week so that will be good for those guys,” he said.
“But what we have to make sure is we look after Motherwell first and make sure we have players available to have a full squad.
“We have had several youngsters in our matchday squad since I have been here so we can’t look after other clubs before we look after ourselves.
“And these young players have the opportunity to show what they can do every day in training, because they are training with and against top-class professionals.
“And we need to get some closed-doors games for the players who have not been playing, and we can’t leave ourselves short for those games either.
“So it’s a bit of a balancing act. We have to make sure we look after our own case and, if we have the opportunity to give these lads regular football, then we have to look at it seriously.”
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