Mark Gillespie: Motherwell can’t let standards slip after break

Mark Gillespie makes a stunning save in Motherwells 2-1 home defeat by Hamilton Accies on December 29 (Pic by Ian McFadyen)
Mark Gillespie makes a stunning save in Motherwells 2-1 home defeat by Hamilton Accies on December 29 (Pic by Ian McFadyen)

Motherwell goalkeeper Mark Gillespie has revealed that the high flying squad are determined not to let overall standards slip in the second half of the season.

The Steelmen have impressed greatly for the vast majority of the 2019-2020 Scottish Premiership campaign, sitting in third place – and automatic qualification for the Europa League first qualifying round – with 37 points after 21 matches.

“We’re third in the league,” Gillespie said.

“We’re looking up, we’re not resting on our laurels.

“We want to go and do the same second half of the season and make sure we do the same points wise as what we’ve done this time round.”

Despite their superb overall first half of the campaign, Gillespie issued an apology to Motherwell supporters for how poor their team was in the final game before the winter break, a 2-1 home derby defeat by Hamilton Accies on December 29.

The keeper added: “Going in 1-0 up at half-time I think it was just a case of ‘same again’ really but probably improving if anything.

“I don’t think we were great first half.

“But obviously it’s a derby game, they made it difficult for us.

“For whatever reason the second half was one of those days. To a man we didn’t show up and they thoroughly deserved to win. It’s really disappointing to say that.

“I wouldn’t say we ran out of steam in the second half.

“They had played the same amount of games.

“We were outscrapped and outbattled from one to 11.

“It was really disappointing as we wanted to get to that 40-point mark and set us up for the second half of the season.

“It was a game we expected to win and that’s no disrespect to Hamilton.

“It’s a wake up call for the lads going into the second half of the season knowing that we don’t have the right to beat any team in this league.

“We have to be on our game.

“The levels hadn’t dropped to that standard all season.

“We need to make sure it doesn’t happen again.”

Gillespie and his Motherwell mates are currently on a winter break – which is including a trip to a training camp in Tenerife – and will resume competitive domestic action in a William Hill Scottish Cup fourth round tie at Dundee on Saturday, January 18.