Uganda Cranes defender Bevis Mugabi put up a formidable performance on Saturday as he stirred Motherwell to their first win of the season in the 2020/2021 Scottish Premier League
Mugabi sent a long ball forward that landed into midfielder Allan Campbell’s path. He took possession, carrying the ball 20 yards towards the Saints box before planting the ball low beyond the diving Elliot Parish and give the Fir Park men the lead just four minutes into the game.
The towering defender did not stop at creating the goal but also proved to be instrumental in denying Johnstone any chance of scoring.
Despite the win, Mitherwell remain at the bottom of the 12 team log with just five points in seven games. Mugabi and his colleagues have only won once, drawn twice and lost once.
The Ugandan international seems to have finally cemented a place in Stephen Robinson’s Motherwell side after a stop-start maiden campaign in Lanarkshire.
As part of a back three, he has looked just the player Robinson hoped he would be when he was snapped up from Yeovil Town last season.
Speaking to club website on Friday, Mugabi acknowledged that while his own outlook has perked up, it is un pleasing for the eye in as far as the club’s position in the league.
Although it would be unfair to entirely blame the Ugandan for the 12th position in the league, the 25-year-old is keen to help put things right.
“It’s nice for a change,” he said. “Last season I was in and out and couldn’t get a run. I feel that I’m performing well enough to stay in the team.
“I’m just going to keep working hard to stay in there. I’m doing extra work to make sure I try and keep my place.
“I don’t mind playing in a back three or a back four. It’s good I can play in both, it’s an extra string to my bow. As long as I’m in the team and doing my best for Motherwell, then that’s all that matters.
“It’s a bit of a sticky situation with us not winning a league game yet. I feel that it’s going to come.
“We’ve been dominating games, we haven’t performed badly, it’s just at the end of the day you need to put the ball in the back of the net.
“With the quality of strikers we have and the amount of chances we create, I know it’s going to click soon.” Mugabi told the club website before the sweet home victory.
It may have taken Mugabi time to feel like home regularly on the pitch, but he admits that, even despite lockdown, Lanarkshire life has suited him.
The man from Harrow spent most of lockdown back home in London with his family, and he is grateful for those precious moments as his focus is now fixed on football once more.
“I’ve enjoyed it here. I’ve not really done much exploring. I thought after lockdown I’d do a bit more, it’s part of my life being in a different country and I want to get out and about.
“But at the same time I know this isn’t a holiday. I’m here to do a job and play football.
“It’s also not the easiest to get out and about at the moment. Hopefully Lanarkshire doesn’t go into lockdown again and we can all stay safe.
“Thankfully I managed to get down to my family before lockdown came in. I’m up here myself but when we knew the Aberdeen game was going to be off in March I went to London straight away. It was two and a half months I was down there.
“It was great to be with the family. It was a bit difficult, but at the same time it was a blessing. As a footballer, you are never ever going to have that one-to-one time with the family. We will never get it again so you had to make the most of it.”
Looking ahead to the match against St Johnstone and the task of Motherwell cleaving out their first league win of the campaign, Mugabi added: “We just want Saturday to be here. We are back refreshed and ready to work. Nobody wants the club to be where it is in the table but we are sure the results will come.
“It will make a huge difference when some fans get back in soon, even if it’s not them all. We are looking forward to it and hopefully we can do them proud,” the Uganda Cranes star said.