Graham Alexander can sense his Motherwell players fighting for each other – but the Fir Park boss knows there’s lots of hard work in front of them.
The Steelmen beat Dundee United 2-1 on Wednesday thanks to goals from Devante Cole and Chris Long in the first half. Alexander’s men were holding on at the end and Ryan Edwards’ goal for the Tangerines made things nervy, but they got over the line to make it back-to-back victories.
Three points moves the Well up to ninth and four points outside the top six, but the hard work can’t stop according to Alexander: “We are delighted and to follow up the win at Ross County was important.
“I can sense a togetherness and will to fight for each other and anything you achieve, but there’s still a lot of work to do. There were spells throughout the game where both teams dominated.
“We got our goals when we were on top and it was enough to win the game. I think both keepers played very well. We didn’t want the Ross County result to be a flash in the pan, we wanted to follow it up with a valuable three points.
“The final 10 minutes were a nervous affair but Dundee United have some good players and a good manager. I can understand from a players’ perspective that you want to hold onto the lead. Liam Kelly made a few fantastic saves, there were people throwing bodies on the line, I thought our discipline was excellent.”
Cole took his tally to four goals in five games while Barry Maguire shone again in CDM for Motherwell, Alexander pleased with both of them: “Devante is hitting form for the team. We are aware of his attributes from down in England.
“I think he is revelling from playing right up front and it was another poacher’s goal. I couldn’t see it for all the bodies but we are delighted with his return. His work ethic for the team has been superb.
“Barry has all the attributes to be a top professional. We see him in training and he can play with both feet. It was a bit of a surprise to him when we put him on set-pieces with both feet but I have confidence in him. If I see you practicing something, then you must have the ability to do it.
“He’s shown his quality and he was exceptional. He is growing into a fully-fledged first-team footballer. It’s alright coming in for the odd game but it’s about consistency. He can use both feet to score goals so that’s the next step for him.”
Motherwell didn’t have injury troubles to seek after this one. Steven Lawless missed out with a knee problem while captain Declan Gallagher picked up a muscle injury and was unavailable, Nathan McGinley taken off after a boot to the face in the penalty box, which was not given as a penalty.
Alexander is hopeful none of them have picked up anything serious: “After the game against Aberdeen last week, Steven felt his knee in training. He’s had a scan but that will only be a couple of weeks.
“Declan has had a scan on a muscle injury and we are waiting for the results of that. Hopefully it isn’t too serious and he’ll be back soon. We are going to get this, Covid has been hard for all clubs to keep players’ levels of fitness up.
“These injuries come up and hopefully they don’t hurt us too much. Nathan’s nose doesn’t look particularly pretty and hopefully he is ok, but he’s taken a sore one. The ref didn’t want to guess at a penalty and I can understand that, now that we have won the game!”
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