Motherwell 2-0 St Johnstone: Graham Alexander hails boyhood fan's impact as Callum Davidson admits 'there's no simple answer'

Motherwell manager Graham Alexander felt the club's ethos was underlined when boyhood fan Dean Cornelius netted his first goal in a 2-0 win over St Johnstone.

Dean Cornelius celebrates his opening goal in Motherwell's 2-0 win over St Johnstone at Fir Park (Photo by Craig Foy / SNS Group)
Dean Cornelius celebrates his opening goal in Motherwell's 2-0 win over St Johnstone at Fir Park (Photo by Craig Foy / SNS Group)

The 20-year-old midfielder marked his first league start at Fir Park in style when he chested the ball down 20 yards out and volleyed into the corner.

Alexander said: "He made his first start at Hibs and has still trained exceptionally well even though he wasn't in the team last week.

"We felt with the type of game it was going to be, what we wanted from the midfield three, he gives us all the things we want, and he's a good footballer.

"You could see that from his strike. It was his full home league debut and it was a great way to mark it with a fantastic finish.


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"I saw the guys' video of him the other week, up in the stands when he was eight years old in a Motherwell kit.

"That's brilliant, that's what this club is about, continually turning out boys through the academy system. He went away but he came back and he loves the club.

"He trains exceptionally well every day and we know what a good player he could possibly be. He has still got a lot to learn and a lot to improve but I know he will put all the work in to make those improvements happen."

Kevin Van Veen netted Motherwell's second goal 10 minutes into the second half.


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Alexander, whose team moved up to fourth in the cinch Premiership, said: "The second goal was a great time for us and I thought we managed the rest of the game in good fashion from that point."

St Johnstone only came close once when Liam Kelly tipped over a shot from Callum Booth as the visitors suffered a sixth consecutive defeat to leave them bottom of the table.

Manager Callum Davidson felt the manner of the loss was especially hard to take.

"If I simplify the game, they won first contact and reacted to the second ball," he said.


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"That was it, and basically that lost us the game, which is probably the biggest disappointment to me.

"If it was tactical, if they passed it round us, if they got chances from good play..... They basically fought and they won the first ball and reacted to the second ball better. For me, that is really hard to take.

"We said in there, how do you get out of it? For me, it's all about hard work and sticking together.

"First and foremost we need to work hard and pull each other out of a hole. We need to make sure everybody is pulling in the same direction. We can't have seven or eight players doing it and nobody else following them.


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"There's not a simple answer to it. I have been in there in my career as an assistant manager, as a player, it's all about hard work and sticking together and we have got to respond off the back of that."

Davidson was without the self-isolating Eetu Vertainen after losing Chris Kane in similar circumstances before their midweek defeat by Rangers.

"I've lost two-thirds of my strike force so I couldn't really make any changes during the game to try and get us into it," he said.

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