Motherwell goal hero Connor Shields reckons the international break was key to the Steelmen ending their winless streak in the league, as he hailed their win over St Mirren ‘one of their best displays of the season’.
The Fir Park striker netted his side’s second goal in a 4-2 win over the Buddies with a lung-bursting run and impressive chip over Saints keeper Dean Lyness to notch his third goal of the season.
And while he was delighted to grab his first league goal since November, it was the manner in which his side ended a run of 11 games without a victory that pleased the Coatbridge ace more.
Motherwell moved up to fifth in the table with their first win since Boxing Day and now know a win at Livingston will guarantee a place in the top six no matter what.
It was Shields’ 10th win in 32 games this season and he believes hard work on the training field during the international break was the secret to their success.
The 24-year-old said: “Coming back from the winter break has been tough, especially in the league as the cup wasn’t too bad.
“We just needed that first win to get us going and with the international break last week, it gave us the time to work on a lot of stuff in training.
“And I thought we showed what we’d practiced during the week, and it paid off in abundance.
“I think the gaffer will be really pleased to see that we’ve got a great win for it as well.
“We just needed that win.
“We’ve come close in some games, played well and not got the result but this was a brilliant performance.
“The result backs that up.
“It’s good to do well myself but it’s about the team and that was up there with the best performance we’ve had all season, so I’m delighted with that.”
Motherwell had to come from behind in the contest after falling 1-0 down to an early Eamonn Brophy strike.
But Sean Goss and Shields both netted inside a minute to turn the game on its head with 21 minutes on the clock.
Conor McCarthy pulled the Buddies level but on the stroke of half Dean Cornelius found the bottom corner with a composed strike.
Twelve minutes from time a Richard Tait own goal against his former side sealed the win for the Steelmen in a pulsating Premiership clash.
Shields added: “It was a matter of they score, we score, and you wondered if it would go like that the whole way.
“But it was brilliant to get the third goal right on half time.
“That held them off a bit and the second half was just about not conceding. The fourth goal killed the game off and we managed the game well at the end.”
Shields has three goals in 23 appearances this term, but hopes his latest strike can spark a late flurry going into a crucial clash against the Lions next weekend.
He added: “I’m pleased with my total so far but I’d like to have more goals. I’m getting chances now so hopefully I can kick on and take this into next week, which is a massive game.
“It’s brilliant doing well but if we can’t back it up at Livingston then it will mean nothing.
“We are confident and hopefully we kick on.”
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