MOTHERWELL manager Ian Baraclough has urged his side to recapture the form they showed in his first two games at the Fir Park helm if they are to climb clear of the Scottish Premiership relegation zone.
The Lanarkshire club are sitting precariously at third bottom in the table after suffering their third defeat on the trot as a result of Saturday’s 4-1 loss away to Dundee with just ten men.
After a bright start under Baraclough when they recorded back-to-back victories, Well have slipped back to their old ways.
Baraclough said: “The first two games I was here I saw a hunger, a desire to go and do well and work as a group, to throw themselves in front of things if it needed that. But for some reason it’s gone against us the first couple of goals and we’ve almost accepted it.
“For me one of the first things I put on the board is you can’t win games of football unless you’re willing to put the hard work in.
“That should be the bare minimum and you’ve got to drag that out of everybody, not just me, you’ve got to drag that out of everybody.
“It’s got to come from all the players as well because it’s livelihoods at stake. We have to do something about it now and we will.”
Motherwell never recovered from their horrific start which saw Dundee race into a 2-0 lead after eight minutes after strikes from on-loan Hibs man Alex Harris and Greg Stewart.
John Sutton’s brief reply was cancelled out by Gary Irvine’s tap-in before half-time and the sending-off of Henrik Ojamaa for elbowing Kevin Thomson killed any hopes of a comeback.
Baraclough said: “We talk from the start of the week and building up to match day about having a good start, getting a foothold in the game, making it difficult for your opponents, being on the front foot and after eight minutes you’re 2-0 down.
“They all want to be at a football club next season, whether it’s this one or elsewhere and every time they go onto a pitch they’ve got to showcase their talents. I’m not sure that one or two are showcasing their talents at the moment.
“I looked at past results and at how the club had been performing before I came and I knew it was going to be a tough job. It’s no different now I’ve been three or four weeks in the job. I’m still excited about it because I know there are players in there that can get this club out of the position we’re in at the moment.”
Dundee completed their rout with a bizarre own goal from Mark O’Brien after a shot from substitute Luka Tankulic but manager Paul Hartley was simply relieved to return to winning ways. He said: “We got off to a really positive start. We said that to the players beforehand, that we had to take the game to Motherwell. Now it’s about looking upwards.
“We’ve come through a tricky spell so all credit to the lads. It’s not been easy but they have stuck at it at all times. They have shown great spirit and togetherness.”