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Football: BUTCHER WELL UP FOR A FIGHT; Terry puts faith in depleted squad.

Byline: NEIL CAMERON

MOTHERWELL'S first pre-season training session took place in an unrelenting downpour yesterday.

It was probably fitting as the black storm clouds which gathered over Fir Park at the end of last season have not gone away.

But as Terry Butcher put his troops through their paces in deepest, dampest Lanarkshire, all morbid thoughts were cast aside.

There is, after all, an SPL campaign to prepare for. Concerns about club take overs and other such matters will have to wait.

It was a case of going from the sublime to the ridiculous for Butcher, who only last week was on World Cup duty for the BBC, staying in a plush hotel room which, incredibly, sat above cloud level.

Yesterday, he was back to business and reality as he fought to keep off the rain and midges at the team's first day back.

There are more problems than solutions at Fir Park right now but the former England and Rangers skipper has never been known to shirk a challenge.

Good job, because he has one hell of a task in front of him.

However, a resolute Butcher told Sports Record: "I just have to get on with it. There is no other option.

"I'm manager of Motherwell and, hopefully, it will stay that way because this is a great club and I enjoy being here.

"We are still up in the air as regards a new buyer, although if we make a good start then maybe that will attract someone in.

"Of course it would be nice if our future was all mapped out but then again it is just nice to still be here after all that has happened.

"But I feel very positive about things. I only need to look back to how these lads reacted at the end of last season. It was the most difficult time but they were magnificent.

"And I told them this morning when they first came in that if we can stick together and show the same attitude and commitment, then we can really achieve something here.

"First I want us to avoid relegation but we need to aim high. We probably have the smallest squad in the league but I'm happy with what I've got.

"The first day back was great and I could sense they were buzzing and raring to go. We will be out to prove a few people wrong."

And no wonder. Butcher can't even think about bringing anyone in and faces the prospect of losing the quality players who managed to survive the cull.

He said: "I have had a while to get used to the situation by now. There is no money and that's that."
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Title Annotation:Sport
Publication:Daily Record (Glasgow, Scotland)
Date:Jul 2, 2002
Words:450
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