Motherwell travel to face Kilmarnock in the Ladbrokes Premiership tomorrow afternoon in the first match since the departure of manager Mark McGhee.
Led by caretaker boss Stephen Robinson, the Fir Parkers head in to the clash looking to end a run of four straight defeats.
But for the Northern Irishman, it is also about finding a way to tighten up defensively, with a staggering seventeen goals shipped in the last four matches.
However, the Steelmen will be boosted in terms of personnel having finally got through the toughest spell of the season in terms of absences.
Richard Tait and Stevie Hammell are both expected to be back to match fitness while Jacob Blyth and Ryan Bowman have both enjoyed positive spells when called upon for the under 20s.
Stephen McManus remains out with a groin injury though, with the Fir Parkers hunting for a much needed win which could potentially see them move up to 9th in the table and remain within reach of the top six chasing pack.
Stephen Robinson revealed his aims ahead of Saturday, admitting that the Steelmen need to rediscover a way of becoming hard to beat.
He said: “We’ve conceded 27 goals in 10 games so we have to stop conceding goals. We’ve worked a lot on shape this week and being organised.”
After all the events in recent weeks, he added: “It’s been difficult. Mark was a popular person around here and he brought a lot of the players and staff to this club.
[pullquote]They’ve been good and they’ve reacted to it because there was a lot of disappointment, there was a sombre mood around the place on Tuesday, but now they have to pick themselves up and go again.[/pullquote]
“There’s a lot of disappointment, but footballers get another chance, they always get another chance to go and prove themselves and that’s what they need to do now.”
He added: “As Mark has said himself, their attitude was not something that was in question, it was more individual errors and mistakes that were costing us.
“They’ve been good and they’ve reacted to it because there was a lot of disappointment, there was a sombre mood around the place on Tuesday, but now they have to pick themselves up and go again.”
Tomorrow’s opponents Kilmarnock are four points ahead of Motherwell and find themselves eighth in the league and in the middle of a positive run of results.
It is the third meeting between the two sides this season, following a 2-1 win on the opening day for the ‘Well and a 0-0 draw at Fir Park back in early December.
Returning from a combined injury and suspension lay-off is the ever-consistent Richard Tait, who is expected to be fit for the club’s 27th league game of the season.
And the 27-year-old is fully focussed, despite the recent events around Fir Park.
The right-back, signed by Mark McGhee last summer, missed the trip to Celtic Park as well as last weekend’s heavy defeat at home to Dundee.
But he’s fit now, and he’s ready for what he knows is a hugely crucial match.
He said: “It’s been hard seeing the gaffer go, but everyone knows that’s football.
“We have to make, as horrible as it sounds, a quick turnaround and focus on Saturday now and that’s mainly what we’ve been doing.”
[pullquote]We’ve had a focussing week ahead of Saturday’s game and like I said before, it has to be a quick turnaround, as horrible as that is.[/pullquote]
He added: “All the boys would agree that we’ve let the gaffer down in that sense and he’s ultimately paid the price for it.
“I just wish him all the best in the future and I’m just really grateful that he brought me to the club.”
The defender echoed the sentiments of stand-in manager Stephen Robinson, admitting that the main thing to do this week was to keep focussed.
And he believes that has happened, revealing it had been a productive week in terms of preparation, but a hard one as a professional.
He said: “We’ve had a focussing week ahead of Saturday’s game and like I said before, it has to be a quick turnaround, as horrible as that is.
“We’ve got to turn our attentions to Saturday and that’s mainly what we’ve done this week.”
Kilmarnock have enjoyed a positive run of form recently which has seen them pick up eight points in their last five games and move six points clear of bottom placed Inverness.
After the recent departure of Lee Clark, the Ayrshire side appointed Lee McCulloch as interim boss.
A familiar face for ‘Well fans, McCulloch arrives with his side tomorrow’s match on the back of a hugely impressive 2-0 victory away to St Johnstone last weekend.
Rory McKenzie’s stunner in the 12th minute, his fifth goal of the season, helped secure all three points for McCulloch’s men.
The midfielder fired home from 35 yards after a poor clearance from goalkeeper Zander Clark allowed the Scot to lob him in stunning fashion.
Conor Sammon doubled Killie’s lead midway through the second half as he headed home Greg Taylor’s cross.
The win is their third in a row at McDiarmid Park, however, Kilmarnock remained in eighth place due to Dundee and Partick Thistle picking up big wins too.
It was a well-deserved win for Killie in a game in which they always looked the more threatening side and after the match. McCulloch said: “I’m delighted with the result, delighted with the performance, I thought we stopped St Johnstone playing in the middle of the pitch.
“They didn’t have any clear cut chances, they are a top team and have a top manager but we’re delighted to come here today, score two great goals and have a couple more chances as well.
“I thought we looked organised and I thought our desire and energy all over the pitch was brilliant.”
The hosts tomorrow have won one of their last five clashes with Motherwell at Rugby Park, with the home side beating the Steelmen 2-0 back in August 2014.
It is the third meeting between the two outfits this term, with Motherwell winning 2-1 at Rugby Park on the opening day and the two sides drawing 0-0 when Killie came to Fir Park.