Ill Kevin van Veen caused chaos that left Ross County sickened in Euro hunt

Kevin van Veen was ill all week but ended up leaving Ross County sickened after causing ‘chaos’ in Dingwall.

The Dutch striker climbed off the bench in ’64 minutes and within four minutes had won and scored a penalty for a foul by Alex Iacovitti that saw Motherwell leap-frog their hosts into fifth place in the Premiership table.

Van Veen was one of a few players who hadn’t been well all week, which also included Callum Slattery, but was pleased to play his part in a crucial 1-0 win at the Global Energy Stadium.

He said: “I wasn’t available all week because I was very ill. I didn’t train at all.

“I only got selected today because of all the illnesses. I still had some of the effects but I was able to play a part and that happened.

“I created a bit of chaos for the penalty, put it away and took the three points for my team. It has been a happy day.”

Ross County’s players and bench were furious with the decision to award van Veen a spot-kick, but the former Scunthorpe hit man says referee David Munro got it right.

Van Veen scores the penalty that saw Motherwell leap up to fifth place in the Premiership table

“I can tell you it was 100 per cent a penalty,” he said. “Connor Shields crossed the ball and their defenders were aggressive and eager to win everything.

“I am in the box, I nicked it in front of the defender and he clattered my calf. I couldn’t even stand up if I wanted to because he put me to the floor.

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“I went down, got the penalty and put it away.

“For me, I didn’t dive or search for anything. My intention was to get a touch and shoot, but it didn’t happen because I was brought down.

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“I can’t stand up if somebody kicks my leg away. It was a penalty for me.”

Motherwell are involved in a three-way fight with Ross County and Dundee United for two remaining European slots, as they head into a midweek match at home to Hearts, before their season finale at Celtic Park on Saturday.

Van Veen is happy they’re two points clear of County, but says a lot can change over the last two games.

Van Veen was one of a few Motherwell players who were ill during the week
Van Veen was one of a few Motherwell players who were ill during the week

He said: “It was just what we needed. We played a lot better against Dundee United [last weekend] but we were defensively strong, although we didn’t create as many chances.

“I watched last week from the stands because I was suspended. We created chance after chance but didn’t put them away and they put one in.

“Today we didn’t create much but defensively we were amazing. If you see [Liam] Kelly his save was what we needed and gave us a good boost and positivity for Wednesday.

“We are nowhere yet and we have two big games coming up. Hopefully, we can have another positive result on Wednesday.

Van Veen says the win puts Motherwell in a strong position, but there's still a lot of hard work to be done
Van Veen says the win puts Motherwell in a strong position, but there’s still a lot of hard work to be done

“We have two really tough games and they will be different from this one.

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“What we need to do is be very good defensively again and from there to try and create chances, put some balls in the net and to win the game.

“We still have a lot of work to do but it is definitely a good result for us. If we hadn’t won it would have been tough for us to make it, but it is a good step.”

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George Holan

George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.

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