MOTHERWELL assistant manager Keith Lasley says that he is hopeful of keeping Stephen O’Donnell at Fir Park beyond the length of his current short-term deal at the club.

Lasley was thrilled for O’Donnell and Motherwell teammate Declan Gallagher as the pair excelled on international duty with Scotland on Thursday night, with both men playing key roles in the victory over Serbia that brought to an end the nation’s long wait for qualification to a major tournament.

Former Kilmarnock right-back O’Donnell penned a deal until January 1st with his local club in the summer, with an option to extend it until the end of the season, and Lasley is keen to ensure that he doesn’t lose a player of such calibre at a critical stage of the campaign.

“The agreement with Stephen was always to do it until the turn of the year and then see how things were for both parties at that point,” Lasley said.

“It’s Steven’s prerogative at the end of the day, but certainly from our side we would be hopeful we could extend that deal.

“We’ll have to cross that bridge when we come to it, but I’m just delighted for him and so pleased that he represented the club so well along with Declan Gallagher on the international stage.

“For now, we’ll just enjoy that and this moment, but hopefully we can get that sorted out when the time is right.”

Lasley couldn’t hide his pride at a provincial club like Motherwell being so well represented in a successful Scotland side, but he wasn’t surprised to see his two players acquitting themselves so well on such a stage.

In fact, he says that the modest O’Donnell in particular has probably surprised himself by how he has handled the step up to international level, and he hopes that there will be a residual benefit at club level with a major boost in the 28-year-old’s confidence.

“Steven will probably have felt that he has had to play his way and gain the trust of the players and the staff, but it should be cemented into his mind now that he definitely belongs at that level,” Lasley said.

“Sometimes it takes a defining game or a defining moment to convince yourself, and I think that’s what Steven should take from the Serbia game.

“Hopefully it will help him kick on not just for Scotland, but in a Motherwell jersey too.”