Motherwell manager Graham Alexander was left proud of his club against Rangers – but how the league leaders leveled in the 1-1 draw has left him with mixed emotions.
Devante Cole had put the Steelmen ahead against Rangers in the first half and they were leading until the 72nd minute when Cedric Itten scored, all of the Swiss striker’s league goals this term coming against Motherwell.
But this one was contentious, replays showing that he appeared to be marginally offside, which has resulted in a talking point. Alexander reckons the striker was a fraction off and it’s a tough one for him and his team.
He said: “I never seen it at the time but it looks like it’s an offside goal that has got them a point. There’s a big of frustration because the work we’ve put in all week deserved a little more. You can only control your own game and if someone is offside then you’re controlling that by keeping a good line.
“I didn’t see it at the time if I’m honest, it was only after the game when I seen a still and some footage but that hurts us a little bit. Overall, the players are frustrated and that’s good.
“We’ve taken a point from a team that are unbeaten this season while playing well and the players are still frustrated which is a good sign. There’s some good characters in that changing room.”
While that goal was disappointing, Alexander was still incredibly pleased with everyone at Fir Park: “I’m proud of the players and everybody at the club. There’s been a lot of work going on behind the scenes this week with ground staff and office staff.
“We are trying to create an environment where the players feel together and as a team. I thought we were excellent in the first-half, we looked comfortable and carried a goal threat – we scored a fantastic goal.
“We were deservedly 1-0 up but with the quality Rangers possess, they’ll always put you on the backfoot and the tendency is to protect that 1-0 lead. But this is another step forward for us.”
Not a believer in the ‘manager bounce,’ Alexander believes results like this are proof of how hard his side work during the week in training: “It all stems from the work the players do on the training pitch and everyone around it.
“We have to work hard because it’s not just going to turn over because of a new manager bounce – I don’t believe in that – work on the training pitch is massive. The players need to be diligent enough, humble enough and intelligent enough to know where we are as a team and work our way out of it.
“To be fair, to a man, they’ve been superb but you want them to get that reward at the end of the week in a game to justify the work they put in. I would expect confidence to grow a little bit more. But this doesn’t win us three points next week.”