Stephen Robinson: Motherwell missed Allan Campbell in cup defeat to St Johnstone
Motherwell manager Stephen Robinson admitted his team missed Allan Campbell as they crashed out of the Betfred Cup.
But Robinson claims his players should have been able to adopt the same approach as the missing midfielder as they suffered a 2-1 defeat by St Johnstone.
Campbell and Scotland Under-21 team-mate Barry Maguire are self-isolating and there was little to cheer them up as they watched from home.
Saints were sharper and better in possession throughout and turned the tie around in 16 minutes after falling behind to Tony Watt’s 61st-minute opener following a set-piece.
Callum Hendry and David Wotherspoon converted low crosses from the dangerous Michael O’Halloran to send St Johnstone into the quarter-finals.
Robinson said: “I said to them afterwards: ‘Do we miss Allan that badly?’ But I will answer that myself. Yeah, we do.
“Because without him we have no bite, nobody that wants to put their body on the line, nobody that wants to go and get hurt.
“I singled out four players who I thought did very well, who I thought were at the top of their game, and the rest of them were miles off.
“I thought we looked fluffy, didn’t look as hungry as them. They came out with every second ball.
“We have lots of good players in the team, potentially good players, but we just need more determination, to do the dirty bit of football better than we have done over the two games we played against them.
“They are not a big, strong side but they have know-how.
“We want to have the perfect match, the perfect goal, the perfect passing sequence but when you don’t do the simple things well you get beat, and I’ve said it time and time again.”
St Johnstone stretched their unbeaten run to 10 matches and look an accomplished team under Callum Davidson, who has been delighted by their Betfred Cup progress.
“It was a tough group we got out of and then another all-Premiership tie after getting Dundee United in the group stages,” Davidson said.
“We seem to be doing it the hard way but, if we carry on winning, I don’t mind.”