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Graham Alexander urges Motherwell to forget table and focus on next match

Graham Alexander File Photo
(Image credit: Steve Welsh)

Motherwell manager Graham Alexander will urge his players to focus on the game against Livingston next weekend and not the permutations of the league table.

Well moved up to fifth in the cinch Premiership thanks to a 4-2 victory over St Mirren at Fir Park.

The Steelmen can guarantee top-six football with victory in West Lothian while a draw will suffice if Hibernian fail to beat Hearts and Ross County fail to beat Aberdeen.

Even a defeat might not scupper Motherwell’s chances but they would need several results to go their way.

Alexander will not get bogged down in the possibilities though as he looks to build on Motherwell’s first league win since beating Livi on Boxing Day.

Well fell behind to Eamonn Brophy’s early goal following an unfortunate ricochet from their perspective, but they were ahead seven minutes later through goals from Sean Goss and Connor Shields.

Dean Cornelius restored the lead just before the break following Conor McCarthy’s equaliser and Shields claimed a second after brilliant play from Kevin van Veen.

Alexander said: “You just look at the league and nobody can call anything.

“We just have to do what we’ve done in the past week and that’s just focus on the result and not what it might mean.

“It’s hard as we’re going into the last game before the split but we just have to focus on what’s right in front of us. And that’s what the players did on Saturday.

“At 1-0 down it wasn’t about the big picture, it was about focusing on the next five minutes and that’s what got us back in the game.”

Alexander recalled Goss and Callum Slattery and restored a three-man midfield.

“We know we have got a competitive squad and players have to earn their place,” Alexander said.

“All the players know what I expect from them and what the team expects from them and if they don’t produce it, they are at risk because there is another player knocking on the door.

“If we play 11 v 11 in training it’s difficult to see what the strongest team is and that will hopefully stand us in good stead.”

St Mirren boss Stephen Robinson criticised his side’s defending, warned they were in a relegation battle and claimed some had lost focus because “plenty” of players had told him they would be leaving in the summer.

The Buddies are only six points ahead of second-bottom St Johnstone and their top-six hopes look likely to end before they host Rangers on Sunday.

“There’s players whose minds are already perhaps out of the club,” Robinson added. “It’s up to me to make sure I get a team that’s 100 per cent committed and make sure we stay in this division.

“The club has been very good to people and we owe it to the football club and the fans to make sure there are better defensive performances than that. The four goals were pathetic.”

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