Motherwell boss Graham Alexander says his side’s need for a Premiership win this year overrides Dundee’s predicament when they clash at Fir Park tomorrow.
The Dens Park club are bottom of the table and facing a relegation battle as two-time former Motherwell boss Mark McGhee brings his side to Lanarkshire.
But Alexander says the Steelmen have targets of their own, and it’s about what they do on the day that matters to him.
A win could take the hosts back up to fourth in the table, and Alexander says they have to give themselves the best chance of doing that.
He said: “We’ve spoken many times about the competitiveness of the Premiership, you see results every single week that are unusual or go against the grain, so for us everyone’s league position is irrelevant. I know I say that a lot, but it is.
“If we don’t do the things that we’re good at, and what we need to focus on, then we’re not going to justify what we do, and we’re going to leave ourselves vulnerable to getting beat.
“We have to focus on ourselves, regardless of who we play next. It’s about what we do in the game, and if we control that it gives us the best chance of winning.
“Everyone in this division has something to play for – including us – and our motivation and our ambitions have got to over-ride what any other club needs to do. That’s for us to control.”
Motherwell are still chasing their first league win of 2022, but Alexander says that they shouldn’t be weighing heavily on players’ minds, because ultimately football isn’t a complicated sport.
He said: “I think over-thinking things is a danger, without a shadow of a doubt. At the end of the day you go into a game, you try to take on a load of information, but players are 20, 25, 30, they’ve been playing football for 15-20 years and the game is the same.
“They’ve been playing it all their lives – every day, probably – since they were eight or nine years old, so you have to let your instinct take over as well.
“We have a clear idea of how we want to play, but I think you can over-think things and make things complicated in your own mind when you’re trying to find solutions. It’s my job, and my staff’s job, to make it clear for the players where we have to continue.
“We have evidence that it works because we’ve won a lot of games this season, and against top opposition, so we just have to trust that what we did before, with these same players, will work again.
“We know at the start of the season that the season is not going to be plain-sailing, we’re not going to win every game, but you have to do your best, you have to stick to what you believe in, and trust the process.
“We’ve got players here who can win games, without a shadow of a doubt, but players are human.
“We have emotions, confidence, moments where we’re nervous and vulnerable, but as professionals that’s what you have to overcome. We’re not just playing for fun, we’re not on a park on a Sunday.
“We’re professional for a reason, we have to make things happen, control our thoughts and emotions, and make sure that we focus on the game.”
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