Graham Alexander hails Celtic 'humility' as he explains Motherwell's approach in 4-0 defeat
Yet, Alexander had no regrets about seeking to engage Celtic rather than camp in and hope to frustrate them - even after fourth-place Motherwell were taken apart to trail by three goals at the interval and end the encounter winless in five top flight outings.
“First and foremost, they [Celtic] are a quality team who work their socks off and they have a great humility about how they go about it,” said the Fir Park manager. “It’s not just about when they’ve got the ball. It’s how they make you feel when you’ve got the ball.
“We are trying to aspire to be a better team and I’d rather my team went like that than just sit back and wait to get beat. You try to get that first goal to give yourself something to play for, but if they get it, it’s extremely difficult.
“I actually thought we had our best spell when we conceded the first goal. We had a decent amount of pressure in their final third. We had some opportunities in their box but couldn’t quite get the final shot off. We were growing into the game but they had the quality to hit us on the counter.
“I know we could have defended the first goal [on 28 minutes] a lot better but we have to acknowledge they are a fantastic team with a lot of good players. They just beat a team on Wednesday [in Rangers] which had lost just once in 60-odd league matches, so they can do it against anyone.
“My players committed to the game we have been trying to implement for the last two or three months, so for me it is a choice you make - you either go and play how we always play, while acknowledging the quality of the opposition, or you just completely go the other way and sit in front of your goal for 90 minutes and wait to get beat. I think we’re better than that. I think we have to try to aspire to be better than that for the long term future of us as a team. We know it’s not foolproof but we have to go and compete at the level we did. We told the players at half time that it was a test of character. And to man, they didn’t give in and kept going to the end.”
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