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Manager Steven Hammell hailed Motherwell’s five-star performance at Ross County and claimed his side had been threatening to do it for several weeks.

Kevin van Veen scored a hat-trick, with Callum Slattery and Joe Efford also finding the net for the Staggies.

He said: “It’s not our best performance of the season, I think our level of performance has been high most games this season.

“We probably created more chances in other games but the difference is how clinical we were. It is something we highlight and work to being clinical in the final third and it’s good to see it coming.

“We highlighted to the staff that we have played well most games this season. But if the results didn’t match that and the points on the board didn’t match that performance, there is only so long we can say that. Things would have to change.

“If results like that didn’t start coming we might need to be more pragmatic, but we want to stick to the style we have and some of the goals we scored were magnificent.”

Van Veen opened the scoring from the penalty spot after 25 minutes and Motherwell went 2–0 up five minutes into the second half when Callum Slattery fired in a powerful low drive.

Van Veen scored the third and Efford made it four in the 59th minute with a thunderous drive from 18 yards, before Van Veen secured his hat-trick two minutes from time.

Ross County boss Malky Mackay said he was embarrassed by his own performance after his team were beaten so easily.

“I want to apologise to our fans for having to watch what they did,” he said. “I am embarrassed by my own performance, so I want to give an apology from me to them.

“They have been fantastic since I got here and the backing they have given the team and they had to watch that second half.

“We started the first half reasonably well and the penalty came against the run of play.

“We were quite attack-minded and got in high areas of the pitch, but the ball seems to be rolling the other side of the post.

“But the second half was awful and that is something we have to address. I am deeply disappointed.”