'We spent 27 weeks in top six' - as Motherwell find out Euro opponents, gaffer Graham Alexander reiterates his belief that Steelmen thoroughly deserve to be in Europa Conference League

Graham Alexander has led Motherwell into the Europa Conference League (Pic by Ian McFadyen)Graham Alexander has led Motherwell into the Europa Conference League (Pic by Ian McFadyen)
Graham Alexander has led Motherwell into the Europa Conference League (Pic by Ian McFadyen)
After finding out his side’s opponents in the Europa Conference League, Motherwell manager Graham Alexander has reiterated his belief that the Steelmen throoughly deserve to be in European competition despite struggling for much of the second half of the 2021-22 campaign.

The Fir Park gaffer – who found out today (Wednesday) that his side will host either Irish outfit Sligo Rovers or Welsh team Bala Town in the second qualifying round at Fir Park on Thursday, July 21 before the away leg a week later – steered ’Well to fifth place last term when a fine start to the season was followed by the Steelmen failing to win a Scottish Premiership game between Boxing Day and April. But a late rally saw them over the line and into Europe.

“Fortunately for us when the league is sorted it’s about where you finish,” Alexander said.

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"Not where you are in October or January or March, it’s where you end up.

"However you get there if you get those points you still deserve to be there.

"No-one can take that away from us. I think we understood how difficult it was for us after January but if anything I thought that showed great testament to the players and the team spirit we had in that, even though we were having a really difficult time, we still stayed in there fighting.

"We were still competing and when it came to win the big games, the important games, to finish in the top six and then to win the European spot, we found those wins.

"And we earned those wins so I think it was fully deserved.

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"I think we spent 27 weeks in the top six over the course of the season.

"Not two or three, not five or six, but 27 weeks.

"So no-one can deny that we deserved to finish in the top six and finish in Europe.

"I was extremely pleased for everyone connected with the club, the players who had put so much work into it, the supporters who have been with us and also the board who backed us last summer and showed great patience with us when we were trying hard to recruit.

"It got nervy at the start of the season because we didn’t have the squad in place when the season started.

"But over the course of the season that work that we did in the summer certainly paid dividends in winning enough points to do what we did.”