'Our recovery to win 2-0 at Pittodrie after being battered 6-1 was like Tyson Fury' - Motherwell boss Graham Alexander delighted with his troops

Motherwell FC manager Graham Alexander has compared his players to World Heavyweight boxing champion Tyson Fury for bouncing back from the previous weekend’s 6-1 home mauling by Rangers to record an impressive 2-0 success at Aberdeen on Saturday.
Graham Alexander's men moved up the table with Saturday's fine 2-0 win at AberdeenGraham Alexander's men moved up the table with Saturday's fine 2-0 win at Aberdeen
Graham Alexander's men moved up the table with Saturday's fine 2-0 win at Aberdeen

Dutch striker Kevin van Veen’s second half double gave the Steelmen their first win in six league games, moving them up to fifth in the table, with goalkeeper Liam Kelly also a hero as he made some exceptional saves.

“You have to stand up, you have to take the hits,” Alexander said. "We had to take a lot of hits last Sunday and the days after.

"But life is about getting back up off the canvas and fighting back.

"We were like Tyson Fury I think. We got absolutely flattened on the canvas, took a little breather this week, came back and won the fight.

"That’s what it felt like to me. Honestly I have managed some quality teams and quality players but I can’t ever say that I’ve been as proud as I am today because we were on the floor and we’ve stood up and we’ve shown that we were ready to fight again.

"And that’s what a Motherwell team should be.”

Alexander, speaking to MFC TV, said that ’Well’s gutsy display at Pittodrie was “the only way you can respond or you’re in the wrong game”.

“Proud is the word that sums it up,” Alexander said.

“It’s been a tough week after a tough month.

"We’ve not had many days like last Sunday and it was important that we responded in the right way and not all emotional and trying to win any points from last week because that game had gone.

"But with a thought process and a determination to make sure that we were better this week.

"Regardless of the result we just had to be better in all the aspects of work rate and competitiveness and trying to take the game to the opposition.

"We’ve come to a real tough venue with a quality team and deservedly won three points with an absolutely top notch performance from the whole squad, not just the starting 11.

"The squad during the week, the 20 odd players who have trained this week, pushed each other and took on board what we learned with a very harsh lesson last Sunday.”

“I think we tried to defend in high areas,” Alexander said.

"And I thought, listen for the last 20 minutes we had to sit in and bank it and make sure we were disciplined.

"But even then, Nathan McGinley, Bevis Mugabi were popping up in the full-back positions pressing the opposition in their final third.

"And as much as we could, we tried to keep them away from our final third.

"Honestly the players took a massive step forward today, in their courage and their ability to go toe to toe with a top team.

"We have to take great confidence from it but we also understand when we get to the next game, today won’t win us any points.

"It has to be repeated time and time again.”

Motherwell won’t get the chance to build on their win at Pittodrie this weekend due to the international break.

The claret and amber outfit are next in Scottish Premiership action in a home game against third placed Hearts on Saturday, November 20, kick-off 3pm.

Meanwhile, with Motherwell skipper Stephen O’Donnell already in the Scotland squad for the crucial World Cup double header in Moldova (this Friday) and at home to Denmark (next Monday, November 15), the Fir Park outfit has received further international recognition with the news that popular defender Mugabi has been called up by Uganda.

The defender returns to the national squad for the upcoming World Cup qualifiers against Kenya and Mali.

The Cranes take on Kenya in Kampala first this Thursday, November 11, before travelling to Morocco to take on Mali three days later.

Uganda must win their group to progress to the final stage, all 10 African group winners in a play-off round.