St Johnstone cup double last season was "special and unique" says Motherwell FC boss Graham Alexander
Motherwell manager Graham Alexander has emphasised just how tough it will be for clubs like his to ever emulate St Johnstone’s incredible achievement of winning both domestic cups last season.
“I think that’s a danger that if everyone says if they’ve done it why can’t we?” Alexander said ahead of ’Well’s Premier Sports Cup opener away to Queen’s Park tomorrow night (Wednesday).
"I think that’s what happened when Leicester won the Premier League and every team of that stature thought: ‘Why can’t we do it?’
"It’s a lot harder than that. I think it’s the only time it’s happened in St Johnstone’s history.
"It’s not happened in Scottish football outside the Old Firm for 30 odd years.
"That’s how difficult that particular success is. But I always believe there’s success there for any team if you get everything right and you prepare right and you get your team right, organisation, tactics, fitness.
"It’s there for everyone but let’s not say it’s that easy just because St Johnstone did it.
"What St Johnstone did last year was special and unique so we have to set our own standards about what we consider success.
"If we can get anywhere near that then we’d be absolutely delighted.
"But we have to just have a bit of common sense about what is the norm, what is achievable, but that’s not saying that we’re not ambitious, of course we are.”
Alexander has already signed five players this summer and is keen to add “four or five at least”, with replacements still to be recruited for departing main men like centre back Declan Gallagher and central midfielder Allan Campbell.
He added: "When you lose really good players like that then you have to replace them, it’s common sense.
"Going and trying to get an exact identikit player may not be what we’re trying to do.
"I think every player has his own individual qualities and things he can add to the squad.
"We’re not going to talk to a player and say: ‘You’re directly replacing this guy’.
"And we try to improve on every position if we can as well so it’ll be tough, certainly with those two players who’ve left but that’s got to be the ambition of us when we recruit and we’ve got to try and improve every aspect of it.
"There’s good players out there without a shadow of a doubt but there’s a lot of competitors.
"There’s a food chain in football and we know we’re not at the top of it. But we know what sort of environment we can offer to a player to take his career forward and give him a platform to play well, take his career to new levels and also win games.”
Alexander stressed that he was “delighted” with the players ’Well have already brought in.
"I think they fit the profiles that we wanted them to but we still need to add four or five at least to the senior group to prepare us for the season,” he added.
"With the Covid issues, I think we have to prepare to lose players through the season to isolation and things like that.
"So we have to prepare ourselves to have enough players to cover those absentees.”