McCall has no doubts about Jennings for Motherwell while on bail
Saturday 15 October 2011
Stuart McCall, the Motherwell manager, is convinced Steve Jennings is in the right frame of mind to face Hibernian today despite his recent arrest.
McCall will play the midfielder at Easter Road after the club confirmed he was available for selection following his arrest on suspicion of conspiracy to defraud in a joint investigation by Merseyside Police and the Gambling Commission.
Jennings, one of nine men bailed until January pending further inquiries, has denied any involvement in an alleged betting scam relating to Motherwell's 2-1 defeat by Hearts in December last year, during which he was sent off.
McCall revealed the 26-year-old had assured him he was determined to play in today's Scottish Premier League game. McCall said: "It's 100 per cent not a problem. All this week he has been training outstandingly well. I know you expect managers to say that, but he has.
"Him and Jamie Murphy have shone this week. They've both trained well and there's no doubt he will be playing. He had a little bit of winding-up on the Monday when he came in but he trained really well and it's not a big decision."
McCall, who took over two weeks after the Hearts match, revealed he had spoken to Jennings about the investigation "a little bit when it raised its head 10 months ago. Jenno just wants to get on with his football. He was a bit confused by it at first but he'll just get on with it and we've got to wait another few months now.
"They've had a 10-month investigation and released him without charge, and we wait for another few months. Jenno's head is right, he wants to play, he's an important part of our team and will be playing at Easter Road."
The arrest threatened to derail Motherwell's fine start to the season, which sees them sitting above Celtic in second place. But Tom Hateley is confident Jennings and Motherwell can continue their good form. "He seems to be enjoying himself at training, with all the other lads," the right-back said. "It's something that we're not trying to get too caught up in.
"We've got a massive game on Saturday and we can't wait to get out there. We have just got on with the football side of things. It's not something we have spoken to him about.
"He loves playing his football and he has been good to be around this week, as usual."
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