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Stephen Craigan steps into the breach as manager of Motherwell

By Graham Luney

Stephen Craigan has agreed to take temporary charge at Motherwell and the former Northern Ireland defender is in the running to land the job on a permanent basis.

The former Motherwell captain returned to the club as the new Under-20s manager in the summer but now the Northern Ireland Under-19 boss could become Ian Baraclough's successor.

Former Sligo Rovers chief Baraclough has paid for the Well's League Cup exit against Morton with his job.

The club sacked the 44-year-old following the 3-2 extra-time defeat at Cappielow on Tuesday.

Craigan enjoyed two spells at Fir Park during his playing career, featuring a total of 379 times for the Steelmen.

The 38-year-old from Newtownards will take charge ahead of Saturday's Ladbrokes Premiership game against bottom club Partick Thistle, along with assistant manager, Northern Ireland coach Stephen Robinson, and goalkeeping coach Jim Hollman.

A club statement read: "Motherwell Football Club has today parted company with manager, Ian Baraclough.

"The board of directors would like to sincerely thank Ian for his great efforts last season and keeping the club in the SPFL Premiership for this very important season in the club's history, with the 130th anniversary and the 25th anniversary of the 1991 Scottish Cup celebrated at the end of the season.

"The board will immediately commence the search for a new manager."

The defeat at Cappielow came after a slow start to the league campaign, which sees Motherwell in 10th spot. In all, they won 12 games, drew five and lost 17 under Baraclough.

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