St Johnstone manager Callum Davidson knows he has work to do to restore his players’ confidence after they suffered a sixth consecutive defeat.
Saints looked short of belief as they fell to a 2-0 loss against Motherwell at Fir Park.
Motherwell goalkeeper Liam Kelly was only troubled once, when he tipped Callum Booth’s shot over the crossbar with his side two goals ahead from Dean Cornelius and Kevin Van Veen.
St Johnstone are now a point adrift of Ross County after losing five league games on the trot and have to pick themselves up for the visit of the Dingwall side on Wednesday.
Davidson said: “It is my responsibility to get the players’ confidence back up and get them playing with the enthusiasm and energy that they had at the start of the season, especially in Europe, and last season. Confidence is a bit low but you get out of it with hard work.”
Davidson was without strikers Chris Kane and Eetu Vertainen because of new self-isolation rules for household contacts.
But he added: “Results have been disappointing and it’s important I take responsibility for that.
“Team selections have been hindered a few times but I have to take the players back to their levels.”
Cornelius grabbed the headlines for Motherwell after scoring his first goal for his boyhood heroes on his first Fir Park start in the league.
But there was another significant introduction to the midfield as Liam Donnelly made his first start since August 14, after making an aborted comeback following a year out with a knee injury.
Manager Graham Alexander said: “He’s had a difficult time. He came into the team at the start of the season with no pre-season really, and it sort set him back, and he has picked up a few niggles here and there.
“He has been out for a while but the way he has trained in the last few weeks has been where we expect it to be. And we know he is a good player.
“We play and train with a certain intensity and he has shown he can do that. We have no qualms with playing him anywhere in midfield because we know what a good player he is.”
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