"We're in a dogfight for Premiership survival" says Motherwell manager Graham Alexander

Motherwell manager Graham Alexander admits his side are in a dogfight to preserve their Scottish Premiership status after Saturday’s poor 3-0 home defeat by St Johnstone.

Guy Melamed's opening goal scorches past 'Well keeper Liam Kelly

A much changed Motherwell side – blighted by the absence of several players including international stars Stephen O’Donnell, Declan Gallagher and Allan Campbell – meekly succumbed to the Perth side who won it with goals by Guy Melamed’s (2), the second of which was a penalty, and a Jason Kerr strike just before half-time which the Steelmen felt should have been disallowed for offside.

Alexander, whose ninth placed side are just four points off the bottom, said: “Any team in the Premiership would miss those players, even at the top end, because they are major players.

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"But I don’t want it to be an easy excuse. We’ve got to stand up and be counted.

Chris Long tangles with David Wotherspoon

“I don’t think we did enough of that.

"It’s going to be a fight from now to the end of the season. We have to win enough points to make sure that we stay as a Premiership club.

"And I think everyone has to have a reality check about this season as a whole and where we are.

"All talk of the top six should be put to one side. We are in a fight to win points to make sure we’re a Premiership club and we have to show that type of fight that it means as much to us as anybody else.

Motherwell manager Graham Alexander discusses the action with his backroom staff (Pics by Ian McFadyen)

"St Johnstone did the basics better than us in every sense.

"There is very little for me to defend. It wasn’t a performance that was good enough to win a game of football, regardless of the situation, regardless of the opponent.

"For me, I thought the young players Tyler (Magloire) and Max (Johnston) were two of our better performers.

"I don’t moan about injuries and player unavailable but it’s a frightening list.

Ricki Lamie in an aerial duel

"But there’s still things there that we could and should have done better.

"I’m angry at the performance of the team. There was things that I didn’t like to see.

"The last two results (’Well lost 4-1 at home to Hamilton the previous Saturday) have been completely unacceptable. Against teams that we need to take points against.”

Home keeper Kelly was blameless at the goals conceded
Devante Cole evades away keeper Zander Clark
Tony Watt leaps into action
Youngster Max Johnston (right) was praised by 'Well gaffer Graham Alexander for being one of his better performers