Motherwell need to grow up quickly according to captain Declan Gallagher after a horrible week at Fir Park had them lose their manager and the Lanarkshire derby.
After a 2-0 home defeat to Kilmarnock in the last game of 2020, Stephen Robinson resigned as Well boss. This didn’t spark the players into life against rivals Hamilton as they were easily beaten 3-0 during Keith Lasley’s first game as interim manager at the weekend.
Now sitting joint-bottom, Gallagher says it was painful to see how it ended for Robinson after almost four years in claret and amber: “Towards the end, I think he was a beaten man, which was heartbreaking to see.
“The gaffer leaving came as a shock. A lot of the boys believed he was still the man who was going to get us out of the situation we’re in. And a lot were disappointed because he brought everybody in to Motherwell.
“Everyone loved him as a manager. The boys messaged him privately. I thanked Stephen Robinson for everything he did for me, and the platform he gave me, as it’s helped my career massively.
“I don’t think anyone can begrudge the reason he left — it was for his own mental health. I don’t think he slept for about three weeks trying to figure things out. You can see it wasn’t the manager’s fault. He has gone, someone else has stepped in.
“But we’re still getting the same poor performance, the same lack of heart and desire. The attitude needs to change at this club — and quickly.”
Gallagher doesn’t shy away from criticism of his own performances either. He says that everybody in the Motherwell squad has to have a look at themselves: “We’ve just been beaten 3-0 in a derby, which is embarrassing.
“We’ve spoken among ourselves many times. That’s all well and good. You can say stuff and shout and bawl in the changing room. It’s what happens come Saturday. And if people aren’t willing to show the heart and desire out there, there’s no point in turning up.
“A lot of boys need to have a look at themselves. The gaffer, before he left, put me in charge of the boys in the changing room. I feel like I’ve let him down, in a way. When I speak about the boys, I’m not saying I’ve been great and all the boys have been terrible.
“I put myself in that category too, none of us have been good enough. We need to all sharpen up. We all need to start growing as men. There’s too many little boys out there just now. That showed in the performance against Hamilton.”
With Motherwell searching for a manager in the midst of a run of 10 games without a victory and the January transfer window, positive results are needed quickly to lift the mood around Fir Park.
Momentum is key in football and the lack of it at Motherwell concerns Gallagher, who’s hoping for managerial stability: “I think there’s a bit of naivety that we’re just a pretty team that likes to get the ball down and play football.
“When the going gets tough, we shy away from it a bit. The boys have to wise up soon. We’re in a dogfight now. The lads need to realise that or it will be too late. The lack of momentum is a concern. We’ve got a battle on our hands, but there are a lot of games still to play.
“Obviously something has to be done quickly, whether it’s Lasley who takes control or we get someone else in. I’ll leave that to people higher up than me to make that call. We need to get some stability at this club — and quickly.”
NTOF now offers a YouTube channel featuring exclusive interviews, post-match discussion, in-depth debate, and much more – LIKE and SUBSCRIBE and don’t miss any of our videos.