16 May Motherwell staying up
Motherwell manager Stephen Robinson admitted his main emotion was “pure relief” after his side secured their Ladbrokes Premiership safety with a 3-1 victory over Kilmarnock at Fir Park.
Second-half goals from Lionel Ainsworth and Elliott Frear saw Motherwell move six points above second-bottom Hamilton, who suffered a last-gasp 3-2 defeat by Ross County.
Robinson said: “It’s pure relief. I’m buzzing inside of course and absolutely delighted. You carry the weight of everyone inside the football club when you have got the honour of leading the football club, and you know the consequences if you don’t stay up.
“There’s a lot pressure comes with that, we have handled it well. The boys stood up to be counted in the last couple of games. Since I have been in here they have, we maybe haven’t had the rub of the green or the results we probably deserved.”
Well took the lead from a first-minute corner through Carl McHugh but Adam Frizzell levelled on 17 minutes after a cross by Jordan Jones, who terrorised young defender David Ferguson.
Robinson took the right-back off in the 38th minute and replaced him with Ainsworth while moving Chris Cadden back, and the substitute turned the game with a stunning free-kick just after the break.
“We made a bold change and it worked for us,” Robinson said. “Lionel changed the game but I have to say Chris Cadden changed the game.
“Jordan Jones is a very good player, he has just been called into the Northern Ireland squad and I worked with him at a younger level, so I was well aware of what he could do. We had to take the young boy, he was getting destroyed by him, and I don’t think he got a kick of the ball off Chris Cadden.”
Kilmarnock had already secured their safety before the game and interim manager Lee McCulloch admitted Motherwell were hungrier.
McCulloch, who said he had held no further talks over his future, added: “The first half we were absolutely brilliant but two set-pieces and a breakaway goal have cost us. It was a bit of a scrappy second half.
“Motherwell looked the team that wanted it more, I think that showed in the 50-50s, winning headers and pressing. We looked a bit lacklustre and I told the boys after the game.”