Graham Alexander sacked by Motherwell after European exit to Sligo Rovers

Motherwell have parted company with manager Graham Alexander on the eve of the new Scottish Premiership season following their ignominious European exit to Sligo Rovers.

Alexander guided the Steelmen to a fifth-placed finish in the top flight last season to qualify for the Europa Conference League, only to suffer a shock 3-0 aggregate defeat to the League of Ireland side in the second qualifying round.

Well have won just four of their last 23 fixtures in 90 minutes but it was Thursday’s 2-0 defeat at The Showgrounds – which followed the 1-0 first leg loss at Fir Park – that proved the final straw for Alexander, who departs along with assistant Chris Lucketti.

Academy director Steven Hammell will take interim charge ahead of Sunday’s cinch Premiership opener away to St Mirren. He will be assisted by former Motherwell team-mate Brian Kerr, who is the club’s under-18s coach.

Club chairman Jim McMahon explained: “Graham asked to speak with us early on Friday morning, and everyone agreed that it would be best to make a change.

“We asked Graham to reverse our fortunes when he arrived 18 months ago and he did that, before a really solid start to his first full season at Fir Park laid the foundations for what ultimately led to a fifth place finish and European football.

“However, things haven’t gone as well for a spell in 2022 and although the timing is not ideal, we hope a change will bring about fresh impetus for everyone ahead of the 2022/23 season.

“I would like to place on record our sincere thanks to Graham and Chris for all their hard work and effort and wish them every success in their future careers.”

Graham Alexander has been sacked by Motherwell following the defeat to Sligo Rovers in the UEFA Conference League. (Photo by Craig Foy / SNS Group)

Alexander added: “I have thoroughly enjoyed my time at Motherwell and leave with nothing but good wishes for the club in the future.

“I’m proud that we came in with the club joint bottom of the Premiership, and 18 months later leave having first secured our Premiership status, then qualified for Europe in our first full season. Our points tally in that time is only behind Rangers & Celtic.

“I also want to thank everyone who has worked so hard alongside us, and for the support I have received from Alan Burrows, Jim McMahon and the board of directors. It has been a pleasure to represent Motherwell Football Club.”

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