Stuart McCall described his pride after witnessing Motherwell’s best performance under his leadership, with a 2-0 victory over Celtic at Fir Park.
‘Well were the better side throughout an engaging contest, and could have actually won by more than the two-goal margin against a high-flying Celtic side.
A display of energy, desire and purpose was a million miles away from the poor display against St Mirren in midweek, and John Sutton’s brace ensured the men in claret and amber came away with all three points.
“I’ve come off the park and people are saying ‘well done’ to me. It’s nothing to do with me – it’s all the players,” McCall profusely praised.
“I thought from every one of our players it was superb. I asked them at half time to keep up the endeavour and keep up the work rate, and every single one of them did that. They were outstanding and I’m a very proud manager.
“It’s the best result I’ve had, definitely. Probably the best performance too – if you look at the side we’re up against and their record it is a great achievement.”
It is a result which takes Motherwell to within two points of fourth-placed Kilmarnock, with games against all of their nearest challengers coming up in subsequent weeks.
Therefore it is no surprise that, for the ‘Well gaffer, there’s no time for basking in the glory of today’s victory, with a place in the top six to be fought for.
“I’ve told the players to have a good night but my focus, straight away, goes to Inverness next Saturday,” the 46-year old insisted.
“Every manager looks for consistency and that is what I’m aiming for. There are still four other sides who will want to get fourth spot.
“We have Kilmarnock and Inverness coming up in a few weeks and then Dundee United and Aberdeen at home – so it’s still all to play for, but that result can give us hope and inspiration for the future.”
McCall was reluctant to single anyone out for special praise, but he did take a moment to acknowledge the performances of a trio of his star performers.
John Sutton was heroic as he ploughed a lone furrow up front, showing typical drive and determination against the Celtic backline. He was rewarded with two expertly-taken goals to take his tally for the season up to 13.
While the walking-wounded of Steve Jennings and, particularly, the superb Keith Lasley also caught the eye in a splendid all-round team performance by the home side.
“I wish someone else had taken the penalty – Sutty’s agent will be looking for an extra £50 in the contract now,” the gaffer joked.
“I’m pleased for every one of them tonight. A lot of players out there deserved ten out of ten but the captain Lasley could hardly breathe with his ribs’ injury and Jennings were both major doubts, but they played brilliantly.
“But there were lots of heroes out there.”