Motherwell FC's win ratio this season has gone up considerably under manager Graham Alexander
Motherwell’s overall improvement in results under manager Graham Alexander means that the Steelmen have virtually guaranteed Scottish Premiership survival with four league games remaining in a rollercoaster season 2020-21.
Under former gaffer Stephen Robinson, Motherwell were deep in relegation danger after winning five, drawing six and losing 12 of their opening 23 domestic and European league and cup matches of the campaign, before fans’ favourite Robbo’s shock resignation at Hogmanay.
Interim gaffer and club legend Keith Lasley then oversaw a 3-0 derby defeat at Hamilton Accies on January 2 before former Salford City boss Alexander was installed as the new boss on January 7.
With Motherwell having won less than 21 per cent of their league and cup games in 2020-21 before Alexander’s arrival, the 49-year-old has since achieved an improved win ratio of over 46 per cent in the 15 Steelmen games he’s taken charge of.
The latest of these – a hard fought 1-0 home triumph over St Mirren at Fir Park on Saturday – was achieved thanks to Devante Cole’s opportunist 62nd minute strike, his fourth goal in four games, with goalkeeper Liam Kelly another ’Well hero having earlier saved a first half penalty from Saints’ Jamie McGrath.
With fellow bottom six sides Kilmarnock and Ross County fighting out a 2-2 draw at the weekend and bottom club Hamilton having lost 1-0 at home to Dundee United, it was a set of results which couldn’t have gone any better for those of a claret and amber persuasion.
With just four league games remaining, ninth placed Motherwell are eight points ahead of County in 10th, nine clear of second bottom Kilmarnock and 11 ahead of basement boys Hamilton.
Alexander said: “I know the league says we are 11 clear of Hamilton but our ambition is to take as many points as we can in the last four games and finish as high as we can.
“That’s a big win for our tally and results elsewhere have been reasonably good, but I don’t want that to impact our approach in our next games.
“We have to commit to every game and make sure we take more points. Staying up was the first target but our effort and commitment shouldn’t stop there so we will keep our foot to the floor.”
Goalkeeper Kelly’s loan deal from QPR expires this summer but he is a player that Alexander would be keen to retain for longer.
The gaffer said: “We’ve spoken to Liam and QPR about it after he said he would be interested in coming back next year.
“It has been on the backburner as we have tried to get permanent players signed up. But if his future lies out of QPR then we would certainly be interested.
“He has done great for us. In the last league game he made a mistake and I think he is still whipping himself about that.
“But he made a massive save from the penalty and he doesn’t have to make anything up to me as he has been fantastic since he came in. And we would really like to keep him.”