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McCall: 'It would be nice to get a goal!'

STUART McCALL casts a glance over Motherwell's recent experiences in European competition and believes his team are due a break.

The Fir Park side have qualified for either the Europa League or the Champions League in six of the last seven seasons and next month will face either Bangor of Wales or the Icelandic side Stjarnan in the second qualifying round of the former.

In recent years Motherwell have come up against Panathinaikos of Greece, the Russians Kuban Krasnodor and Levante of Spain and all have proved too strong over two legs.

"It would be nice to get a goal in Europe!" joked McCall. "I look back at Panathinaikos and a few of the players that got Greece through [to the last 16 of the World Cup] were in that Panathinaikos side.

"Levante that same season beat Barcelona then Krasnodar drew twice with Swansea. Also, I was watching the World Cup and I was looking at the boy who plays for Costa Rica, Marco Urena, thinking: 'I know you!'

"Then I remembered seeing him running away from [Steven] Hammell for Krasnodar. We've been up against some big sides. Also, we played a couple of those games at 10pm and 11pm at night plus in 95 degrees. I may be wrong but it hopefully won't be anything like that in Wales or Iceland."

McCall hopes it is Bangor who make it through the first qualifying round. "The travelling aspect is easier and the Icelandic team are 11 games unbeaten and they play on AstroTurf - and me and AstroTurf and cup competitions don't go together at all - don't mention Albion Rovers! Let's just say I looked up the Icelandic team's ground and saw the AstroTurf and groaned.

"I wouldn't say I have a preference but the Icelandics are up and running and they have a plastic pitch so that would probably sway my decision. Not through any footballing reasons but for those reasons maybe Bangor would be better."

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