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Robinson insists focus is on Motherwell job amid Hearts and Hibs speculation

Motherwell manager Stephen Robinson feels no need to address his players over ongoing speculation surrounding his future.

The former Northern Ireland assistant manager is among the favourites to take over at both Hearts and Hibernian and there could be further speculation on the way after Michael O’Neill was targeted by Stoke.

Robinson, who was O’Neill’s Northern Ireland assistant at Euro 2016, has Motherwell sitting in third place in the Ladbrokes Premiership and led them to two cup finals in his first full season.

His players brushed off the speculation over the Hearts role to beat Livingston last Saturday and Robinson has not sat them down to offer any reassurances after Hibs joined their Edinburgh rivals in searching for a new boss.

“I don’t think I need to do that,” the 44-year-old said. “It’s all speculation. I am concentrating solely on Motherwell and a big game on Sunday to try and stay in the position we are in, a tough game.

“I don’t think there is any need to address that, I am more focused on Celtic’s threats and how we can expose Celtic and try and get a result.

“It’s hard enough trying to beat Celtic without worrying about anything else and hypothetical questions. Me and the players have stayed solely focused and not let it detract from our attention of trying to get a result on Sunday.

“We are doing well, players are getting international recognition, we are sitting third in the table with a fantastic game at Celtic Park on Sunday, so I don’t need to deal with any of that. I just concentrate on what’s in front of me.”

Robinson, who saw defender Declan Gallagher called up by Scotland this week, believes the players should take credit for him being linked with other clubs.

“I have a brilliant relationship with all the players,” the former Oldham boss said. “You can only start 11 of them so it’s important you keep the boys who are not playing on board as well, as frustrated as they are, which is understandable.

“I try and be honest with people and we treat them well and if I’m linked with something it’s down to the players, and if the players are linked with clubs or playing for their country, it’s because of Motherwell Football Club.

“We appreciate each other and I think there’s a good bond and relationship between all the players and staff.”