Hibs : 24h on

Last updated : 23 November 2008 By Firparkcorner

Motherwell fans are no strangers to the highs and lows that come as a result of following a provincial club in the SPL. We celebrated the success which came as a just reward for last season's scintillating performances and we made the most of our short lived adventure into the Uefa Cup.

But few believed that a new era had arrived and there was always the certainty that we would return to a more mundane style of play with the consequent loss of form. Results would fall away and we would struggle. That the turnaround has happened so quickly is a disappointment.

Two or three bad results on their own don't necessarily indicate a crisis but there are other factors which come into play. A sizeable number of the squad are expected to leave the ship at the January transfer window and a few more are likely to join them in the summer. Their lack of commitment to the cause could be a big factor in determining our fate.

Of greater concern are the signals which come from the manager. Gone is the confident enthusiasm which was transmitted to the fans last year. Instead he talks of the need for movement to bigger things. He explains that we need to accept that players (and managers?) will see Fir Park as a stopover on the way to a larger pay packet. His ill-judged comment after the defeat at Falkirk - "Why should I give a monkey's what they think?" - can be interpreted as an indication that he has had enough. He has had his taste of taking a team into Europe and now that it's over he has lost interest.

McGhee made much of our greatly improved fitness levels last season. We overwhelmed teams with pace and passing. Now he reports that the team are tired following two games against the Old Firm! Saturday's "embarrassing" debacle just added to the gloom.

Off the field there appears to be no sign of an upturn. Confusion remains following the abortive pricing initiative and fans (home and away) don't seem to know what to expect until they arrive at the turnstile. It still appears that the club is unable to find someone to stick a number of the season ticket boards to avoid confusion at the gates.

No one ever said that supporting Motherwell was an easy option. We are used to the slumps which follow the occasional peaks and no doubt another highlight will appear to lift the gloom, but there is no light on the horizon at the moment.