FORMER Sunderland defender Simon Ramsden has had to be patient over the last six months – and that is the attribute he feels Motherwell will need most when they take on Stjarnan in the Europa League tonight.
Ramsden finally makes his comeback from knee surgery in January that was meant to keep him out for four weeks, only for a mistake in surgery to force another two operations and end his season.
But the 32-year-old, who managed just a single appearance for Sunderland, back in 2004, will not make any rash bursts forward against the Icelandic side in the second qualifying round tie.
Ramsden said: “It’s probably a totally different outlook this match compared to the games we’ve played in previously where we weren’t necessarily the favourites.
“It’s swung round a bit where the onus is on us to go out there and get a victory to take to Iceland.
“But, as anyone saw in the Celtic game (against KR Reykjavik in Iceland), it’s not always as straightforward as people presume.
“No doubt they will be coming to sit in and make it difficult for us to get the victory so we might have to be every patient and when we get the chance to capitalise on space we need to make the most of it and get some goals to take over there.”
Ramsden, likely to line up at centre-half following the departure of North East-born Shaun Hutchinson to Fulham, is eager to make up for lost time after an impressive run at right-back was cut short last season.
“Everybody can’t wait – it’s been in our minds all pre-season but this is my first competitive game for six months so I’ve been looking forward to getting that buzz of playing competitive football again,” he said.
“It was a frustrating time but a lot of footballers have been in that boat and I intend to bounce back from it.”
Motherwell have not scored in seven European matches but Ramsden will not worry if a goal does not come quickly. He added: “The game is over two legs and whether it takes to halfway through the second half or even if it’s in the second leg, we just need to be focused and patient.”
and wait for the chances to come.”