16 September 2023

Stephen Robinson’s unbeaten St Mirren ‘showed great character’ at Motherwell

16 September 2023

St Mirren boss Stephen Robinson hailed the spirit of his players after they battled to a 1-0 victory over Motherwell and moved up to second in the cinch Premiership.

The Buddies found themselves on the back foot for large spells of the encounter at Fir Park, but they broke the deadlock 10 minutes after half-time when Scott Tanser volleyed home Ryan Strain’s cross.

Saints have picked up 11 points from their opening five league fixtures and although Robinson felt his side were not at their best, he was delighted in the way his side dug deep to see out the win.

“I’m delighted with the result, we showed great character and togetherness to grind out a result,” he said.

“We weren’t at our best by any stretch of the imagination in possession of the ball.

“Sometimes you don’t play as well as you can, against Aberdeen we were brilliant and didn’t get the three points.

“Today we weren’t on the top of it – a lot of boys coming from all over the world after travelling, only trained one day – but we managed to grind out a result which is a sign of a good team.

“We defended for our lives, and a special mention for Alex Gogic, Scott Tanser and Zach Hemming as well – there were some really terrific defensive performances today.”

Despite leapfrogging Motherwell into second spot, the St Mirren gaffer insists nobody at the club is getting carried away.

Robinson believes that the togetherness and work ethic within the Saints squad have been key factors in their recent success and is looking for more of the same as the season progresses.

“I’ve a lot of belief in the players. When you create an atmosphere that the players have done and they are as diligent and willing to work as hard as they do then you get your rewards,” he added.

“It’s very, very early in the season. There will be times in the season when it doesn’t go our way – but it’ll never be from lack of effort.

“We’ll enjoy it. I’d love the season to end right now, that would be fantastic.

“We’ve made a terrific start and plaudits should go to the team and the players.”

Motherwell manager Stuart Kettlewell was left frustrated at his side’s lack of cutting edge as they suffered their first league defeat since April.

“Everyone that was there would see that we were by far the better side – I don’t think there’s any point in kidding ourselves on about that,” Kettlewell said.

“I have to say I think that’s as well as we’ve performed since I came to the club in February.

“I genuinely believe that, in and out of possession I thought we were excellent – but it’s all excuses isn’t it?

“We’ve lost a game of football and I’ve said to the players we can’t become a side that plays like that and doesn’t pick up something from the game.”

The best videos delivered daily

Watch the stories that matter, right from your inbox