'Offside Rangers goal denied us win' - Motherwell boss Graham Alexander hits out at officials

Motherwell FC boss Graham Alexander has hit out at the ‘offside’ goal which denied his side a famous victory over Rangers at Ibrox Stadium on Sunday.

Graham Alexander was mystified that Rangers' goal was allowed to stand (Pic by Ian McFadyen)

Fashion Sakala headed in from almost on the Motherwell goal line – TV pictures seemed to show he was clearly offside – to put Gers ahead on 12 minutes – but the Steelmen fought back to earn a fine point in the second half thanks to Kaiyne Woolery’s opportunist 66th minute strike which got a 1-1 draw.

“It could have been three points because the goal that we conceded was offside,” Alexander said.

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"And it should easily be seen. He’s stood right in front of the goal, a yard from the line, a setpiece.

"There’s no catalogue of play so it’s not a goal. We have to overcome that.

"Listen, they have other opportunities to score, we have opportunities to score.

"I thought we could have scored just before they did.

"We should have had a penalty in the first half.

"But we knew in the second half we had to keep plugging away. We would have an opportunity or two, we had to take it when it came along.

"We did that and it was a great finish from Kaiyne, great move from the team.

"It was a game that both teams wanted to try and win. We didn’t come here looking for the point, we wanted to try and win the game.

"We played with three strikers all game through. When we got the equaliser we wanted to keep that attacking threat because we felt that we could work an opportunity to get a winner.

"But I was delighted with the defensive structure of the team and the discipline because we had to work exceptionally hard.”

Although disappointed with the nature of the goal conceded, Alexander also emphasised the positives of his side preventing Rangers winning a home league match for the first time in 18 months.

With 11 points from their opening six Scottish Premiership matches this season, ’Well are just two points off leaders Rangers.

Alexander, speaking to MFC TV, added: “We didn’t give anything cheap away. We had a lot of pressure around our box but we didn’t dive in and give any decisions to the referee to make.

"And I thought we always carried a threat in attacking phases.

“I thought that the midfield put a ridiculous amount of work in defensively and then to have the quality to create chances.

"The front three worked exceptionally hard and the back four were steady in their play and I thought we deserved a point at least from all that team work and ethic.

"Even with the five, six, maybe seven minutes added on at the end, we still saw that through.

"I’m delighted for the boys because we showed a real focus from half-time onwards not to feel sorry for ourselves for a goal that shouldn’t have counted.”

Motherwell have recorded three wins, two draws and just a solitary defeat this campaign, and Alexander was asked to explain why it’s been such a fine start.

He said: “The players working hard and being together, that’s it.

"There’s no secrets I don’t believe in football. I think it’s always 11 v 11 no matter who you play against.

"As long as our 11 are always together, working in tandem, the belief is there, they work exceptionally hard on the training pitch.

"You see we’ve lost Sol (Norwegian defender Sondre Solholm Johansen) yesterday and brought Sods (Stephen O’Donnell) back in.

"We’re bringing subs on of top quality. And it’s going to take a squad of players to achieve anything that we want to achieve this season.

"There is a work ethic from players not in the team to support and compete and try and get in the team.

"And that’s where the secret is, if we have 20 odd players competing together, and against each other to make each other better.

"We’re getting the rewards on the pitch. But we have to maintain that work off the pitch to make sure it happens on match day.”