Keith Lasley admits Motherwell are in a battle against relegation

Keith Lasley took charge from the Well dugout due to Stephen Robinsons touchline ban (Pic by Ian McFadyen)Keith Lasley took charge from the Well dugout due to Stephen Robinsons touchline ban (Pic by Ian McFadyen)
Keith Lasley took charge from the Well dugout due to Stephen Robinsons touchline ban (Pic by Ian McFadyen)
So how can a team that has thrashed Aberdeen 3-0 and earned draws against Celtic and Rangers at Fir Park this season lose 1-0 at home to lowly St Mirren?

Well I guess one of the (albeit masochistic) joys of supporting a side like Motherwell is that you just never know exactly what you’re going to get, writes Craig Goldthorp.

Especially in this up and down 2018-2019 campaign, which has been even more of a rollercoaster ride than usual for followers of the Steelmen.

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Ninth placed Motherwell could have put a mammoth 12 points between themselves and their second bottom Paisley visitors with an expected victory on Saturday, but instead failed to impress for most of the game and lost to a second half sucker punch.

Cammy Smith got the break of the ball in a second half chase with Motherwell’s Gael Bigirimana and – although home keeper Mark Gillespie parried Smith’s subsequent shot – the rebound was converted by Simeon Jackson to give the Buddies a crucial three points in their battle against the drop.

Motherwell gaffer Stephen Robinson’s touchline ban meant assistant Keith Lasley took his place in the dugout.

Lasley said: “The manner of the performance wasn’t the way we like to play football and the way we play when we’ve been successful.

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“The tempo was too slow and we just never got going in such a big game at the start of such a big week for us.

“It’s not what we were looking for.

“We are still involved in a fight at the bottom, absolutely.

“Any talk of looking above us is based on us finding that consistency.

“Until we do that, we’re firmly in a battle.

“We know there are two big games before the break and they become even more crucial now.

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“We need to try and push ourselves on and give ourselves a bit of positivity going into that break now.

Lasley was understandably mystified at how the same starting line-up from the previous Saturday’s fine 2-1 win over St Johnstone in Perth could be so poor just seven days later.

He added: “I think our problem in the last period has been that we’ve followed up really good performances with performances like today.

“And we need to find that consistency in terms of the results, even when it is the same players, if we want to have any chance of pushing ourselves up this table.

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“That wasn’t there, the performance level was down there’s no doubt.

“But we just need to look forward to Wednesday now (today’s home league game against Kilmarnock), which becomes an even bigger game now.

“The challenge speaks for itself in terms of where they are in the league.

“So I don’t think I need to say too much about Killie in terms of what they are going to bring.

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“I think what we need to bring is what we’ve shown against teams at the higher end of the table.

“Particularly here against Rangers and Celtic, Aberdeen as well.

“That type of performance that we’ve got out of those type of games. So we are capable of doing that but we need to be far better than we were today.

“And we need to show the types of performances against those teams I mentioned if we are going to get anything out of that game.

“It’s a tough game but at this point I don’t really care what Killie bring. What we care about is what we put on that pitch.”