Motherwell boss Graham Alexander expected a response from his players following their derby disappointment as they sealed Premier Sports Cup progress with a 2-0 win over Annan.
Alexander did not want to dwell on their 2-0 defeat at Airdrie ahead of their final group match and his approach paid dividends as goals from Justin Amaluzor and Barry Maguire secured top spot in Group F as Airdrie fell to a 4-1 defeat against Queen of the South.
Motherwell did not have it all their own way, with goalkeeper Liam Kelly producing a brilliant penalty save from Owen Moxon, but they could have scored more but for Annan keeper Greg Fleming.
Alexander, who handed new signing Callum Slattery a debut off the bench, said: “We didn’t talk about making up for Wednesday. We just knew we wanted to win the group and go through and to do that we knew we had to win the game. For me that was our focus.
“I didn’t need to tell the players how disappointing last Wednesday was. They are a good group of players and they knew themselves. They are honest.
“We all let ourselves down, myself included, and we had to show people the real us.”
Midfielder Slattery joined on a three-year deal from Southampton earlier in the day.
The 22-year-old made five first-team appearances for Saints and Motherwell paid an undisclosed fee to take him to Fir Park.
“He will bring a little bit of everything,” Alexander said. “He is a good passer of the ball and he wants to pass forward and he can also put his foot in. He is what we would call an old-fashioned midfield player.
“We have been speaking to him and Southampton for a while as we tried to get him on board because there was a lot of interest in him.
“We are really happy that he chose us to take his career onto a new level.”
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