Hammell counts cost of cup exit
Stevie Hammell admits Motherwell's Scottish Cup defeat by Aberdeen was all the more painful because it could help spell the end of an era.
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But Hammell hopes pushing for another European adventure could help retain some of the players who are out of contract at the end of the season.
Motherwell were denied a fifth-round trip to face Hibernian at Easter Road, where they play tomorrow on Clydesdale Bank Premier League duty, and the chance to emulate their run to the final in 2011 when they lost 2-1 in a Fir Park replay on Tuesday.
The financial blow has given manager Stuart McCall less chance of holding on to the likes of Nicky Law, Darren Randolph and Jamie Murphy in the long term.
Hammell said: "I don't think it heaped pressure on us but we were aware of it.
"It's well documented, the gaffer even came out and said it, a cup run would help financially to keep some of the boys.
"I think that was another reason why it was disappointing to go out the cup, because I think this will be the last season that this group of players will be together.
"It's a strong group, one of the best teams I've played with, and at the end of this season, or maybe even sooner, that team might not be together, so it would have been nice to finish with a trip to Hampden. But it wasn't to be.
"I'm sure there will be some offers because of how well we have been doing, that's just the nature of how things are.
"If teams come looking from England, they will be able to offer bigger financial rewards.
"It will be a sad day if we lose a lot of these boys but hopefully we can keep most of the squad together and the gaffer has been able to bring in some real gems before."
Murphy turned down a move to Blackpool on the last day of this year's January transfer window in order to help Motherwell secure third place in the SPL and the Champions League qualifying spot that came with it.
And Hammell hopes a similar push can lift the gloom of the cup defeat.
"Hopefully the boys will not rush into any decisions in January, a lot of the deals usually take place at the last minute," he said.
"If they can stay at least until the end of the season, that would be a great boost for everyone.
"We've got to put that disappointment behind us now and look to bounce back against Hibs.
"There are European places up for grabs and we are confident we can show everyone we deserve to be there.
"We would like to get there and put the disappointment of going out the cup early behind us."