Motherwell manager Graham Alexander ‘knows what the players are capable of’ at Fir Park after a 1-1 draw away to St Johnstone.
The Lanarkshire club could have scored three or four goals had it not been for the form of St Johnstone goalkeeper Zander Clark. Tony Watt scored a late leveler against his former side after Motherwell captain Stephen O’Donnell turned the ball into his own net in the first half. Motherwell have one point from two Scottish Premiership games.
Alexander said: “We are a bit gutted that we didn’t take three points because of the chances we created. The saves that Zander had to make, and did make, were top drawer. We should have been in the lead from our opportunities before we conceded.
“I’m disappointed with the goal from an unfortunate deflection but I thought in the second half, we came into it really well. When we passed the ball, we showed what a good team we are.”
‘Well gambled near the end, finishing the match with four attackers on the park. It paid dividends, Callum Slattery threading a pass into Steven Lawless, who teed up Watt for a volleyed finish. Bevis Mugabi, Ricki Lamie and Kaiyne Woolery all came close with headers but Clark denied the trio of attempts.
A goal was the least Motherwell merited according to Alexander: “We deservedly got an equaliser. We had another great opportunity after that but he [Clark] was on top of his game. It took a very good goal to get past him. You have to keep throwing punches. The goal was worked really well between the team.
“I thought Tony Watt, Stevie Lawless and Callum Slattery linked really well. When we passed it well through the lines, we caused them problems. When we passed sideways, I thought we caused our own problems. You saw the quality of the goal – it was a great finish.”
Forward Connor Shields became the latest Motherwell player to return from injury, making his debut against St Johnstone after missing a large chunk of pre-season and the Premier Sports Cup group stage campaign. Shields was Motherwell’s first signing of the summer, arriving from Championship outfit Queen of the South.
Bevis Mugabi and Liam Donnelly have returned from long-term injuries in recent weeks while Liam Grimshaw’s recovery from illness is stepping up. Alexander said: “Connor started pre-season really well and then picked up an injury. He’s been training with us for about a week.
“He’s got great quality, he works hard and he is quick. We have to use more than 11 players over the course of a season and Connor showed some good signs. We’ve got some players coming back from almost a year out and players coming in that haven’t played a pre-season game.
“I think you can see that it’s a work in progress but you need to get results while you’re working – and we got one here. I know what the players are capable of and I need them to realise that as well.”
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