Motherwell boss Robinson relishing role at Fir Park

Stephen Robinson feels his first year in charge of Motherwell has been “as enjoyable as management gets”.

The Northern Irishman was handed the reins 12 months ago, initially on a caretaker basis, after Mark McGhee was sacked.

The former Oldham boss had only returned to Fir Park for a second coaching stint weeks earlier and found himself thrust into the hot seat as Motherwell fought a relegation battle.

They sealed their survival with a game to spare and Robinson guided Well to the Betfred Cup final this season. He now has them in the William Hill Scottish Cup quarter-finals and seventh place in the Premiership ahead of Wednesday’s visit of Aberdeen.

Robinson said: “I’m a wee bit greyer now than when I first took the job. Listen, it’s a great football club, super people involved in it. It’s probably as enjoyable as management gets.

“We have been relatively successful for the size of the football club and the budget we work with. I’m enjoying it, it’s a challenge, there are new challenges every day. But that’s what you know, when you take the job, that’s what you have to meet.”

Motherwell’s Hampden semi-final triumph over Rangers has been the most spectacular moment of Robinson’s reign, but it was not his personal high.

“Staying up was huge for the club and that’s probably my biggest highlight, rather than the semi-final win to get to the final, or the day,” said the 43-year-old, who has a 47 per cent win record this season.

“When you are maybe responsible for 25 people losing their jobs and the club being relegated for the first time in a long time, it’s a lot to carry around. So that was a massive relief, and I think we have built from there.

“We have probably been a little bit more successful than people imagined with the amount of changes, and it does take time. And for me we are still building and improving all the time.

“We have brought in a lot of players, there were a lot of adjustments needed around the football club, big decisions that we had to take that weren’t popular, but I did what I felt was right for the club at the time. I was able to utilise a lot of people that we sort of retired.

“I inherited an ageing squad, of players who had been brilliant for the club. So a lot of new people came in and hit the ground running and it was the same again in January because it’s a club that has to constantly refresh because we do lose players to bigger clubs.

“We are pleased. We always want more and I think we can do better. We could have done better on Saturday but we came out with three points. But there’s lots of improvement still to come, I believe.”

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