MOTHERWELL midfield ace Nicky Law reckons loan signing Kallum Higginbotham can pick up where Jamie Murphy left off after the fans' favourite departed for Sheffield United.

The Huddersfield forward has made the switch north until the end of the season to join a Fir Park side chasing European football.

They host St Johnstone on Sunday in a clash that will go a long way to shaping the European ambitions of both sides as the SPL resumes following the winter break.

Law reckons Higginbotham can help Stuart McCall's side close in on their target and said: "Kallum has looked really sharp in training and he will undoubtedly add a lot to us and in a variety of positions.

"It didn't matter who was going to come in to replace Jamie Murphy, it was always going to be a big ask, but I think Kallum can do it.

"He has a great touch and is very comfortable on the ball and he clearly, from what I have seen in training, can finish.

"The bottom line is that you don't sign for a Championship side like Huddersfield Town without having quality.

"Maybe things haven't worked out for him down the road, but I think that can work out very nicely for us.

"Kallum will be desperate to make his first start for us against St Johnstone and I am sure he has given the manager a selection headache in a positive fashion ahead of Sunday."

The Steelmen will hope to defeat the McDiarmid Park men for the second time this season and open up a seven-point gap over Steve Lomas' men.

With Inverness hosting Aberdeen just 24 hours earlier, the visit from the Perth Saints could provide Well with the opportunity to go out in second place in the SPL table on their own.

It could also have McCall's men underline their improving home form by stretching their SPL unbeaten run at Fir Park to six games, all the way back to a November 7, a 1-0 defeat at the hands of Dundee United which Well didn't deserve to lose.

Law said: "The St Johnstone game is a vital one for us, but possibly even more so for them. If we can get the three points then seven points would be a decent gap to open up over them at this stage of the season.

"We have had a fair bit of success over them in the 18 months since I have been here and the last time we played them was when we won 3-1 up at McDiarmid Park.

"The key to that one, as is the case with so many SPL games, was that we got out the blocks quickly and more importantly got the goal when we were on top early doors and then added a second.

"In fact, I think we were 3-0 up before they got a late goal so a repeat of that result would be just about perfect for us.

"But you look at the guys that St Johnstone have added of late like Rowan Vine and they have players of proven quality who can hurt you.

"The other aspect of this is that they are a big side who are always very well organised and with Fir Park that bit narrower they will be very hard to break down."

He added: "The first time I played against St Johnstone back at the start of last season they turned us over 3-0 at Fir Park, so they have had success at our place.

"There is no doubt that they will be one of our main rivals for European football at the end of the season and the chance to open up a significant advantage over them at this stage undoubtedly makes this a six-pointer in European terms."