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Graham Alexander warns Motherwell players against thinking safety is assured

Motherwell v Rangers – Scottish Premiership – Fir Park
(Image credit: Andrew Milligan)

Motherwell boss Graham Alexander has warned his players not to assume they are safe and take their foot off the gas.

Well moved 10 points clear of the Scottish Premiership’s bottom club Kilmarnock thanks to a 3-1 victory over Livingston on Saturday.

Devante Cole scored twice and set up substitute Christopher Long to net the third as the Lanarkshire side made it seven points from three matches.

They are now nine points above second-bottom Hamilton but the resurgent Accies have a game in hand against Livingston next weekend.

Motherwell then face Killie away before the split and Alexander does not want any danger of slackness creeping into their play after their recent Rugby Park win was followed by heavy defeats against both Hamilton and St Johnstone.

“I don’t even want to think about where we are because I don’t want anyone to relax, I don’t want anyone to take a step back and think we are on easy street,” he said.

“We have got to chase, we have got to commit, we have got to go for every game.

“For me, the league table is irrelevant because I don’t want it changing our approach. All we have got to look at is our next game and can we win three points?

“If we continue that mindset, we will be in a good position.

“But we did it subconsciously three weeks ago when we beat Kilmarnock away, I think people looked further ahead and we got a couple of slaps in the face. We can’t make that mistake again.”

Livingston suffered a third defeat inside seven days following emotionally and physically draining setbacks against St Johnstone and Rangers.

They were without injured forwards Gavin Reilly and Jay Emmanuel-Thomas while Scott Robinson was ill.

Matej Poplatnik came in and conceded the penalty that allowed Cole to open the scoring, although the Slovenian forward was only denied a first-half equaliser by an excellent stop from Liam Kelly.

Livi ultimately paid for their slow start with Jack Fitzwater’s headed goal only briefly reducing the deficit to one goal.

But manager David Martindale dismissed suggestions that Livingston’s tough week had taken its toll.

“I think that’s a wee bit disrespectful to Motherwell to be honest because they got up on the first balls and got on the second balls a lot better than we did,” he said.

“And I think I made enough changes in the two games to make sure we still had enough energy in and around the midfield area to help get us up the park.”