Motherwell manager Stephen Robinson has encouraged his frustrated fringe players to stop knocking on his door and complaining they aren’t getting a chance by putting in a performance this evening against bottom of the table Partick Thistle.
The Lanarkshire club are currently hit with a bit of an injury crisis, with Louis Moult, Peter Hartley and Alex Fisher definitely out of this evening’s encounter. Chris Cadden and Trevor Carson will also face late-fitness tests while Ellis Plummer and George Newell continue their rehabilitation and are not yet fit enough to be considered for contention.
Speaking after Saturday’s defeat to Hearts at Tynecastle, the Northern Irishman told Motherwell’s YouTube channel.
“Yeah, we are missing them [the injured players], but it is an opportunity for other people. We lose Chris Cadden after 20-odd minutes and then lose Alex Fisher to concussion at half-time, so, things can transpire against you at time – but that isn’t an excuse that people are missing as it is an opportunity for players to step in and some haven’t really taken their opportunity today.
Obviously, Alex was affected from the bang to his head so he will likely miss Wednesday with concussion, but it just presents opportunities. There were players always knocking on my door asking for opportunities all the time when the team was winning: the team isn’t winning now, so, go and take your chance – stop knocking on my door and complaining, go and take your opportunity that they will get on Wednesday evening.”
A Kyle Lafferty goal was the difference between the sides on Saturday, which left the former Oldham boss frustrated.
“There wasn’t a lot in the match today,” continues the 43-year-old on MFCTV. “We have lost the game with two slips – Cedric [Kipre] slips as he goes to tackle Kyle Lafferty and then Carl McHugh slips. I also believe Kyle brought the ball round with his hand, but the referee has missed as well as the free-kick just before it. They shouldn’t be scoring from that angle though. We dominated large parts, without really creating anything, which is a disappointing thing. With Elliot Frear, Craig Tanner, Biggie [Gael Bigirimana] and Dimi [Petravicius] in your side then you have a lot of attacking players but they didn’t really affect the game in the final third in the second half; that is something we need to try encourage them to do and build on it.”
Looking towards tonight’s clash at Firhill, the ‘Well gaffer told the congregated press that he didn’t expect an easy game against Alan Archibald’s men.
“It’ll be a tough, tough game. I have watched Partick numerous times and they are a good side: it surprises me where they are [in the league table]. I watched their game from Saturday [at home to Kilmarnock] back and there wasn’t a whole lot between the two teams. There are some set-plays and errors which they are being punished for – as you do when you are down the bottom of the league, so, we definitely need to be on our guard tomorrow night.
We need to be ready for a backlash from Partick after the Kilmarnock result. I have total respect for Archie [Alan Archibald – Partick’s Manager] and Scott [Paterson – Partick’s Assistant Manager] down there and I am sure they will turn things around; the main thing we have to focus on is to make sure that it isn’t against us.”