Motherwell forward Ryan Bowman has vowed that the team will come back stronger next season after losing Saturday’s Scottish Cup final.
The Motherwell Times rated Bowman as ’Well’s best player in a final which saw them pay for a passive opening 25 minutes in midfield and defence which saw a rampant Celtic score their two goals through fine strikes by Callum McGregor and Olivier Ntcham.
But Bowman (26) battled manfully up front throughout and didn’t deserve to be on the losing side, the second time the Steelmen have been beaten by the Hoops in a domestic cup final this season having lost November’s Betfred final by the same score.
The Carlisle-born forward said: “Gutted, absolutely disappointed as are all the boys.
“We thought it was our chance but it wasn’t to be.
“ Yeah of course I regret the start. It is two goals that we could have prevented.
“Any other day they don’t go in. It’s a great finish from McGregor to be fair.
“From then on we show character and determination and we had a few chances as well but it wasn’t to be for us.
“ If one of those chances go in it changes it completely, we are on the front foot then if we get a goal back there is only one in it and it could have been different.
“I think we showed them too much respect.
“We shouldn’t have because we have earned the right to get to the final like they have and lost two sloppy goals that could have been prevented.
“From then on we were in the game and all it needed was a goal to get us going but we didn’t get it . But it’s definitely been a positive season.
“Two cup finals and seventh in the league, we look at ourselves and think we could get in the top six with the performances we have had this season.
“Especially against the bigger teams so we should feel like that we should be there.
“The performances we have shown have allowed us to compete against teams like that and we will definitely come back stronger.”
Bowman wasn’t mincing his words when asked if Celtic defender Dedryck Boyata should have received a straight red card instead of the booking he did receive for hauling back Motherwell’s Chris Cadden just outside the box with 12 minutes remaining.
Gael Bigirimana produced a fine effort from the resultant free-kick but unfortunately for ’Well his effort from 19 yards came crashing back off the crossbar.
“I felt like where I was it should have been a sending off,” Bowman said.
“It’s a clear goalscoring opportunity. Cadden is straight through but we can’t blame the referees.
“We need to look at ourselves but from where I was it should have been more than yellow.”
Bowman insisted it wasn’t all doom and gloom for Motherwell in the wake of Saturday’s 2-0 defeat at Hampden Park.
Virtually all of the current squad are already signed up for next season and gaffer Stephen Robinson has vowed to bring in new arrivals.
Bowman said: “There’s a lot to build on bar the first 25 minutes. We are going to go away in the summer, work as hard as we ever have and come back even stronger and we want to be here again next season.
“The majority of us have signed new deals so we have got the core of the team. The manager will bring in a couple more.”