Motherwell go from Dons destroyers to Livi losers in a week
So just how is it possible for Motherwell to be so poor just seven days after being so brilliant?
Just a week after strolling to a deserved and emphatic 3-0 home win over Aberdeen, the ineffective Steelmen laboured to a hugely disappointing 2-0 loss in West Lothian on Saturday.For every defensive block, lung bursting run forward, incisive attack and clinical finish there was against the Dons, you had long balls aplenty, poor defending and passing and an opposition goalkeeper who produced some fantastic saves when needed.Motherwell manager Stephen Robinson was nothing if not honest and forthright when he addressed the media following a defeat which saw his team blow the chance of getting within just two points of their hosts in the Scottish Premiership table.Robbo said: “I thought the two players who hit the standards of last week were Mark Gillespie, who started, and Alex Gorrin who came on and was very good when he came on.“Perhaps he needs a run in the team now.“He does both, he’s good on the ball and he does the dirty work as well.“Everybody was below par, bar those two players.”Robinson was clearly infuriated by the fact that Livingston’s goals – a first half shot by Steven Lawless after a long throw-in broke to him – and Craig Halkett’s bread and butter second half header from a corner – had both come from setplays.“What’s disappointing is we’ve worked on it all week,” the Motherwell gaffer added.“We told them that they wouldn’t score from the first one, they throw long balls into the box, they do it very well.“We told certain people to mark a certain way, they didn’t.“And runners go off the midfielder again.“So we’ve got beaten by that and a corner into the box that I’m very aware of.“We simply got what we deserved.“We didn’t do the simple things well enough, Livi did it better than us.“It’s so hard to explain the performance we had last week and then you get a performance like that there.“It’s as simple as that, we didn’t do the free stuff as well as Livi.“If Livi win, lose or draw they do that every single week.“And we didn’t do that today, we didn’t pick up second balls, we didn’t land on the ball, when we did we passed it out of play.“The same team bar one player (Peter Hartley) that produced the performance they did last week.“There’s nothing in the game. It’s a poor game, it’s a poor spectacle at times but two setplays cost us.“Two setplays that we’re very, very aware of and we can’t keep giving that information and people not taking it on board.“People wonder why people don’t start in games.“You have to do the simple things well to be in teams.”Robinson acknowledged that his team had at least had a good 20 minutes in the second half at the Tony Macaroni Arena, but had failed to hurt their hosts.“We had one chance where their keeper makes a super save,” he added.Robinson said his team needed to respond strongly to the setback at Livingston when they host Celtic at Fir Park tonight (Wednesday), before travelling to Tynecastle to face Hearts this Saturday.“We need to do the free stuff,” he said. “We’re certainly not a side that can pass teams to death.”