18 May Tough decisions for Robinson
Motherwell manager Stephen Robinson admits he faces another extremely difficult task of re-shaping his squad after keeping the club in the Ladbrokes Premiership.
Robinson was set to inform some players about their futures on Thursday and others, who will play at Inverness on Saturday, will learn their fate on Monday.
Lionel Ainsworth admitted he was desperate to extend his four-year spell at Fir Park after his goal helped Motherwell to their season-defining win over Kilmarnock on Tuesday.
And the likes of Craig Samson, Keith Lasley, Joe Chalmers, Lee Lucas, Scott McDonald, David Ferguson, Stephen Pearson and Craig Moore are also out of contract along with assistant boss James McFadden.
Robinson said: “We have a lot of older players in the squad who have been absolutely fantastic for this club. I have to weigh up whether they can still contribute on the pitch, whether they can still contribute off the pitch, and make tough decisions.
“We can’t carry people. We need to make tough, tough decisions. It’s not something I want to do, it’s not something I enjoy doing, but it’s something that is very much necessary.
“It’s extremely difficult. I do think you need to take the emotions out of it. You have to do what you think will make the football club successful and what will make you successful as a manager. We will do it the right way, we treat people right here, we will do it face to face.
“A lot of it will be financially dictated, if we are going to pay players our top wages then they have to be almost guaranteed starters.”
Robinson has already begun his recruitment programme, which could be influenced by the situations surrounding top goalscorer Louis Moult and defender Ben Heneghan, who have been linked with Rangers.
“We were a couple of weeks behind everyone,” he said. “We have made a couple of offers to players we are trying to bring in.
“I have not been told that I have to sell anybody. If we sell anybody, it will be in the best interests of the club.”
Meanwhile, Moult and McDonald are injury doubts for the trip to bottom club Inverness, who need to win to have a realistic chance of leapfrogging Hamilton.
But Robinson said: “We owe it to the clubs involved in the relegation battle that we put out the strongest team possible.”