Motherwell midfielder Carl McHugh admits Saturday’s defeat by St Mirren has hammered home the fact that they are in a relegation dogfight.
Second-bottom Saints cut the gap on Well to six points with a 1-0 win at Fir Park and Motherwell remain closer to the bottom of the Ladbrokes Premiership than the teams above them.
Motherwell host Kilmarnock on Boxing Day looking to arrest a run of three consecutive defeats against Steve Clarke’s men, before travelling to Hamilton three days later.
McHugh said: “It was an opportunity for us to move clear of them and we have not taken it. It puts a lot more emphasis now on the two games coming up.
“If we were under any illusions before, we are definitely involved in it now. Every game becomes bigger and it’s up to us to get ourselves out of it.
“We have lacked consistency through the season and it’s why we are where we are in the table. The table doesn’t lie and it’s only us that can put that right, starting on Wednesday.
“Kilmarnock have shown consistency where other teams similar to them in the league haven’t, like ourselves. Fair play to them, they have had a good year but we have to beat them on Wednesday. It is a big game for us.”
Assistant boss Keith Lasley is hoping Motherwell have saved one of their better performances for fourth-placed Killie having taken points off the top three teams in the league at Fir Park.
“What we need to bring is what we have shown against the teams at the higher end of the table here, particularly against Celtic and Rangers, Aberdeen as well, that type of performance from those sort of games,” Lasley said.
“We are capable of doing that but we need to be far better than we were on Saturday, and we need to show the types of performance against those teams I mentioned if we are going to get anything out of that game, because Killie are quite rightly where they are and they will be thinking a result against us can keep them where they are.
“It’s a tough game but at this point what we care about is what we put out on that pitch. On Saturday it wasn’t there and we need to make sure we bring it on Wednesday.”