Motherwell manager Stephen Robinson has defended Peter Hartley after the Motherwell stalwart's unusually poor day in Saturday's 3-1 home defeat against Hamilton Accies, writes Craig Goldthorp.
The normally dependable Hartley (29) conceded a first half penalty for handball after blocking a shot by Accies' Ali Crawford and Dougie Imrie netted from the spot to equalise for Accies.
And Hartley, on loan to 'Well from Blackpool until the end of the season, was also at fault for the visitors' second goal as his mistake let in Rakish Bingham to score.
The Hartlepool-born centre back's day went from bad to worse after the full-time whistle at Fir Park when he received a post match red card after lashing out at Accies' Dougie Imrie in an incident which sparked a mass brawl.
Gaffer Robinson said: "The mistake is extremely uncharacteristic of Peter and that we can forgive.
"There are certain things that happen with players over and over in a game that I can't forgive.
"If I keep saying the same things to people and they don't do it then it's time to look at something else.
"With Peter that's a one off, that doesn't happen. He's a leader.
"Sometimes when you're that aggressive to try and go win balls you make mistakes so we'll forgive that.
"We'll regroup, we'll get people fit and ready to go again."
Robbo said that Motherwell's teenage midfielder Allan Campbell had been substituted after 43 minutes due to a dead leg.
The Northern Irishman added: "When he went off the pitch we looked a different side.
"When you're looking at a 19-year-old kid who's the best player on the pitch then some of the other boys need to look in the mirror.
"He was fantastic for us. And I thought as soon as he went off we lacked a real instinctiveness to actually land on balls and play.
"I sometimes do the boy a disservice that I don't think he's a technical ball player. But he probably is one of our best passers on the day as well."
Campbell's fine display was a rare chink of light for 'Well on the day.
"I don't think there's a team in the league that put more decent quality balls into the box than we do," Robbo said.
"But the reality is we didn't look like scoring outside of Tans (Craig Tanner).
"We know where our problems lie. The game should have been over in the first half.
"We had enough chances, enough ownership of the game. But second half make no mistake we were really poor.
"Our decision making was poor, our intensity was poor. No matter how many balls were going into the box we didn't look like we were going to score because we didn't anticipate things.
"I'm well aware what we need to do and I'll be busy doing that."
Robinson said that some of his players had looked tired against Accies after a rigorous first half of the season.
"We have been affected by injuries," he added. "The boys that have come in did look a little bit off the pace to be honest.
"I think there's boys that need a rest and recharge the batteries and go again.
"We had six academy boys involved in the game so we didn't have a lot of options.
"We'll regroup again. The run of results are disappointing but the same group of players went on a super run.
"So we need to get back to the shape that we were playing and the style of football that we were playing.
"I've had to put more perceived footballers into the team due to injuries. And it shows that when we try and play there we just become ordinary then instead of a top six side."
The 'Well gaffer said that he hadn't seen either the penalty incident against Hartley or the incident at the end involving Hartley.
Robbo praised the Motherwell fans for sticking with the team, even when they went 3-1 down against Accies.
He said the players owed them a good performance on their return to action following the winter break, in a home William Hill Scottish Cup fourth round tie against Accies on January 20.