He may be just a few months in to his captaincy at Fir Park, but Peter Hartley knows the importance of his leadership in the coming weeks.
In the aftermath of Saturday’s 1-0 defeat against St Johnstone, the message from the manager was simple: it’s time to stand up and be counted.
And for 30-year-old Hartley, it’s something he believes each and every player in the dressing room is capable of doing.
“We know what’s at stake and that we need to be better,” he admitted. “There’s definitely been times when we’ve played well but perhaps not got the results, but now is the time for results to follow.”
St Mirren and Dundee lie in wait for a Motherwell side searching for a much-needed win, and the skipper admits the next two games are crucial for him and his teammates.
He said: “They’re massive, of course they are. To be going up against two sides sitting below us in the table is incentive enough for us to go out there and do what we have to, and that’s get points on the board, it’s as simple as that.
“On top of that I think it’s also safe to say that we’re not a million miles away at the moment. We’ve come through a sticky patch of injuries, we’ve been unlucky at points, and I believe all it takes is a victory to spark us back in to life.”
And while it sounds simple, the captain is well aware that it isn’t.
He said: “After the game on Saturday the atmosphere in the dressing room wasn’t doom and gloom, it was different. There was a real sense of determination but also anger with ourselves, a sense that we all knew we have to find that bit extra to pick up points.
“It’s one thing creating more chances or having more of the ball, but what matters is that for the last few games we haven’t had that extra bit needed to get over the line.”
He added: “Every game in this league is a difficult one, you see examples of it every week and all it takes is a quick glance at the table for you to see how competitive this division is.
“One thing that I always believe in with this group is our mentality. We’ve arrived back in to training this week and haven’t let anything get to us or deter us from the task at hand.”
He added: “Are we in a disappointing position? Absolutely. Do we have the character and desire to turn things around? Of course.
“We’ve shown the supporters that we’ve got it in us before, and we’ll be sure to show it again.”