'It's a missed opportunity' - Motherwell boss Graham Alexander rues poor second half against Rangers

Motherwell manager Graham Alexander rued a ‘missed opportunity’ for his players as he bemoaned the timidity of their second half display against Rangers.

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Graham Alexander was disappointed with his side's second half display against Rangers (Pic by Ian McFadyen)
Graham Alexander was disappointed with his side's second half display against Rangers (Pic by Ian McFadyen)

Alexander’s team appeared set up for a rare Fir Park win over the Scottish champions after coming from behind to be level at 1-1 at half-time in Saturday’s Premiership clash after Leon Balogun was sent off for the visitors.

But it was Rangers who took command after the break to win 3-1 and inflict a blow on Motherwell’s hopes of securing a top five finish and the prospect of European football next season.

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“For 45 minutes we were really good,” said Alexander. “We committed as a team, we pressed Rangers all over the pitch and caused them problems.

“We didn’t give them time on the ball to dictate and at 1-1, the game was there for us to take.

“But we had to stay on the front foot and put them under pressure.

“We didn’t do that in the second half, we let them pop it around at the back.

“They knocked it over our heads or walked through our team to score.

“It’s a missed opportunity because it was there for us.

“We did the same thing in our first game back after the winter break against Ross County when the opposition went down to 10 men.

“We took a step backwards and got punished. It was a carbon copy today which is a real disappointment for us.

“If we’d have pressed like we did in the first half we could have won the game.

“Until we learn lessons about how our team does its best work, our form won’t be any different.

“That’s what we need to try and fix.

“You either take a step forward or back. What dictates that? It’s your mind.

“We have to be aggressive in our play. Our success in finishing in the top six hasn’t come from sitting deep in our own box.

“It’s come from not letting teams play their own game and for 45 minutes we did it today against a very good team.

“We did it even when Rangers had 11 players. But we lost a bit of belief after we got punished so early in the second half.”

Motherwell, sixth on 40 points with four games to play, travel to Dundee United this Saturday with kick-off at 3pm.