Motherwell manager Graham Alexander was happy with his side’s response against St Mirren – but Kevin Clancy’s refereeing display didn’t impress him as much.

The Well drew 0-0 with St Mirren in Paisley, much-improved from 4-1 and 3-0 defeats to Hamilton and St Johnstone in recent matches. But Alexander was unhappy after match referee Clancy booked him in the first half and didn’t award Tony Watt a penalty.

St. Mirren v Motherwell - Ladbrokes Scottish Premiership

Wasn’t thrilled. (Photo by Ross MacDonald/SNS Group via Getty Images)

Both of those explanations have left Alexander perplexed: “That’s what we have been told, that Tony had to go down. It was a foul but he had to go down. I honestly don’t get that. It’s a foul. Tony is an honest guy.

“You could even see the reaction from the opposition bench. They knew. We all knew. I felt like I was punished for trying to coach my team, and that’s my job. I don’t think we were any different to any other bench in any other game of football.

“I was certainly respectful, I certainly didn’t swear, I didn’t call anyone anything. I don’t know if I’m meant to stand there like a tripod and not move. Everyone gets passionate about the game and that’s all it was.

St. Mirren v Motherwell - Ladbrokes Scottish Premiership

Nothing bad was said. (Photo by Ross MacDonald/SNS Group via Getty Images)

“But I don’t want to focus on that, I just want to focus on our performance. It was so much more committed than it has been on Saturday. I was really pleased with the way the players responded.”

Devante Cole hit the post for the Steelmen in what was likely the game’s best chance. But there was little to split the teams in Paisley during the goalless draw but effort levels from this must remain in future matches, Motherwell now five points clear of the Scottish Premiership’s bottom spot.

Key players returned to the XI while January signings made an impact, including Blackburn Rovers loanee Tyler Magloire at centre-back: “We have had a lot of criticism and rightly so. We had to stand up and take responsibility for that because it was us who let ourselves down and let everyone down. But we certainly gave an answer.

Blackburn Rovers Return for Pre-Season Training

Blackburn Rovers loanee Magloire impressed the Motherwell boss. (Photo by Rachel Holborn – BRFC/Getty Images)

“We fought like hell to keep Allan Campbell at the club in January for that particular reason. We fought like hell to keep Stephen O’Donnell for that particular reason. We need our best players to give us the best chance of winning games.

“But I thought Jordan Roberts coming in for his first game for a while was fantastic. Tyler Magloire in his second start, I thought he was unbelievable. I could go through the whole team and sing their praises because I thought they were magnificent in the way they approached the game.

“We will only let ourselves down and everyone connected with the club if we come off that commitment and endeavour and energy. I thought we were unlucky not to win the game but I said to the players that has to be the base minimum, we can’t ever drop below that or the basics of football. We were dominant in spells and I was really pleased.”

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