McCall: Win has lifted confidence

PA Sport
Stuart McCall was thrilled as Motherwell returned to winning ways at St Johnstone
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Stuart McCall was thrilled as Motherwell returned to winning ways at St Johnstone

Motherwell manager Stuart McCall hailed his players' character after they bounced back from four consecutive defeats in style with a 3-1 victory at St Johnstone.

Jamie Murphy ended Motherwell's four-game run without a goal when he netted inside 40 seconds after Henrik Ojamaa's shot was blocked. Murphy, playing in a central role off the strikers in the first half, doubled the lead in the 38th minute with a 20-yard strike and Nicky Law burst through to net a third in the 73rd minute.

Darren Randolph thought he had ensured Motherwell's first clean sheet since the opening day of the Clydesdale Bank Premier League season when he made a brilliant save from Nigel Hasselbaink's close-range header, but a late goal from Saints substitute David Robertson could not take the shine off the win for McCall.

"We have lost three SPL games and the cup game and not scored, and obviously confidence is a massive thing in football," McCall said.

"We have tried to reiterate all week that you don't become a bad team overnight. Craig Brown was saying three or four weeks ago that we were the best team they had played at Aberdeen. You just have to believe and there were some outstanding individual performances, but as a team they stuck at it.

"It's not easy. If you have lost four on the bounce you need character and desire, and we scored some good goals as well."

St Johnstone suffered their first SPL defeat since August but it came hot on the heels of their 5-0 thrashing by Celtic in the Scottish Communities League Cup quarter-finals, and manager Steve Lomas was shocked at his side's defending.

"You just can't give the type of goals we gave away, the first two, and expect to win football games," Lomas said. "It's just impossible.

"The first was just a lump over the top and Ojamaa gets in. And the second one, Murphy cuts inside and runs 30 or 40 yards and smacks it in. That's not good enough. We did have some chances that you probably need to take.

"But one of things that got us on our run, obviously we were scoring goals, but we were quite hard to concede against. So the last two games have been a massive disappointment. We didn't get out the blocks. We said Motherwell would be coming out the blocks and we would have to match that, but some of the defending was criminal."

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