In the aftermath Stuart McCall was correct to focus on the games ahead rather than to dwell on the hiding. The game on Tuesday in Aberdeen and the next two at Fir Park (against Hamilton and St Mirren) have to be the centre of attention for the players and management team.
The success we gained in the early part of the season was built on a fairly stable back four. Saunders or Hateley were partnered by Craigan, Reynolds and Hammell. It is hardly surprising that the addition of a fifth man. Page, together with Reynolds’ replacement, Hutchison, led to a loss of confidence. It was a gamble that failed. Had the change of formation worked McCall would have been heaped with praise. We can only hope that the younger players can learn from the harrowing experience and that they continue with their steady development.
Every Motherwell fan is aware that the limited first team pool would suffer badly if several regulars were to suffer injuries. The pressure on them to return before full recovery has to be resisted. We may have to accept that our poor run is going to last for a while before we can get back on track. With every week that passes the importance of the decent start we had to the season is underlined.
The troops have only a couple of days to recover before facing an Aberdeen side that had the day off on Saturday thanks to a sodden McDiarmid Park. They will be rested while we will still be nursing bruises and strains. Team selection will be a real test for the manager. Will he risk throwing in the boys to give the struggling players time to recover for the upcoming home games? Or will he take the view that we need to field the tried and tested regulars? We’ll know the answer on Tuesday evening.