Motherwell manager in "keep believing" message to fans after embarrassing defeat to Sligo Rovers: "Didn't get what we deserved," says Alexander.

Graham Alexander has advised Motherwell fans not to panic after a humiliating start to the new campaign.

Motherwell manager Graham Alexander looks on as his side fall to a 1-0 defeat to Sligo Rovers in the first leg of a Europa Conference League second qualifying round tie. (Photo by Rob Casey / SNS Group)
Motherwell manager Graham Alexander looks on as his side fall to a 1-0 defeat to Sligo Rovers in the first leg of a Europa Conference League second qualifying round tie. (Photo by Rob Casey / SNS Group)

Former Hearts striker Aidan Keena gave Sligo Rovers a 1-0 aggregate lead to take back to Ireland in the first leg of a Europa Conference League second qualifying round tie.

A poor back header by defender Bevis Mugabi allowed Keena the chance to lob ‘keeper Liam Kelly. There was still over an hour of the game to go but Motherwell could not even find an equaliser and now face a stiff challenge at The Showgrounds next week.

But Alexander claimed Motherwell deserved victory on the night despite the visitors having several other good chances to score as well as a late penalty appeal turned down.

The manager said his message to supporters was "keep believing”. He added: I think we did more than enough to win it. The goal speaks for itself. It was a mistake but an honest one.

“That gave them something to protect. They sat deep at times, but we still created enough chances to win the game but didn’t take them. But it’s only half time. It’s still there to try and win.”

He did not agree with those who felt Motherwell were under-cooked after playing only two friendlies. Sligo Rovers, by contrast, are 23 league games into their season.

“Like I say, we created more than enough chances to win,” said Alexander. “We gave a goal away that was just a mistake. It’s not as if we were under intense pressure.

“That’s the way the game sometimes goes. We still have the second leg to go and win.

“That’s football. That’s the way it is. We can’t change it. What we’ll do is go and try and win games of football.

“You can’t say the team didn’t try its best to win that one. The game is about scoring more goals than your opponent and we didn’t do that tonight. We have to process that we didn’t do that.

That’s the way the game is sometimes. Sometimes you don’t get what you deserve. I don’t think we got what we deserved tonight.”

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