Pearson: Stand up to be counted

Scott McDonald is red-carded at St Mirren
Scott McDonald is red-carded at St Mirren

Stephen Pearson knows what it takes to win a play-off and he’s told his Motherwell team-mates it’s time to stand up and be counted.

The midfielder scored the winner for Derby County in England’s Championship play-offs at Wembley in 2007 to send his side into the top division.

The scenario is different for Pearson and his team-mates now with Motherwell fighting for their Premiership lives, and he says there can be no hiding place.

“It’s two games, two legs, and you’ve got to do everything to win it.

“Concentration levels, determination - everything needed in a good team performance must be shown. This is no place for shrinking violets or people hiding away, everyone has to take responsibility all over the pitch and do what’s required.

“There are people’s liveliehoods at stake and players careers up for grabs and we all have to pull in the right direction. We are confident we have the players, the staff and the fan base to do that and we don’t want to let anyone down.”

Pearson has the positive play-off experience to fall back on, and there are several knowledgable heads in the Fir Park dressing room who will play a key role in the survival showdown on Thursday, May 28 and the following Sunday.

“Its up to the players to knuckle down and really focus on what’s to be achieved,” Pearson added.

“We’ve got a few experienced boys who have been through tough times so that’s there and there’s a good mix. We want to showcase our talents and have got to add the experience we’ve gathered throughout the years to help the team drive on.

“That’s the focus for the next couple of weeks, it’s heads down, take the criticism because we are where we are for a reason and it’s time to focus on what we need to do to keep this club in the league.

“We’re devastated, we’re gutted at what’s happened, we gave ourselves a position to see the game out despite not playing well.

“The hard work starts again and I firmly believe we have the players to stay in the Premiership and hopefully we can do that.

“The club is in the premier league, the club deserves to be there and the fans have been superb. They’re used to be at the top of the table but they’ve been driving us on and hopefully they continue to support us because it has been superb.”