No fears for Stephen Robinson over cup final opponents

Motherwell manager Stephen Robinso. Picture: SNS/Craig Williamson
Motherwell manager Stephen Robinso. Picture: SNS/Craig Williamson
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Stephen Robinson does not care who Motherwell face in the William Hill Scottish Cup final after watching his side advance to their second Hampden showpiece of the season with a stunning 3-0 win over Aberdeen.

Sunday’s second semi-final between Celtic and Rangers will decide who they face on May 19.

But after watching Well ruthlessly dismantle the Dons, Robinson believes his Betfred Cup runners-up can cope with whatever the derby victors can throw at them as he tipped his men to match the feats of the Steelmen’s 1991 Scottish Cup heroes.

“We don’t fear anybody,” the Northern Irishman said. “We’ve drawn twice with Celtic and beaten Rangers already.

“I don’t mind at all who we face. Whoever we get will be tough but we’re certainly motivated after the last final (2-0 defeat to Celtic in Betfred Cup final in November).

“We can now make history like the ‘91 guys. Before the game I used the analogy about the Northern Ireland squad that got to the Euros (in 2016). All we heard was about the 1982 and ‘86 (World Cup) squad. It’s all they talked about and rightly so, they deserved it.

“But now there are new heroes in town with the squad that qualified.

“And these boys have such a terrific chance here now. They’re honest boys who aren’t earning millions of pounds but give you everything. I’d love to see it.”

Robinson’s men ran themselves into the ground for their boss and were rewarded as Aberdeen wilted under the pressure.

The Lanarkshire side got a lucky break when referee Kevin Clancy failed to spot Richard Tait’s handball in the build-up to Curtis Main’s opener but the Pittodrie defence was culpable as Ryan Bowman and Main struck again to put the game out of sight.

Dons boss Derek McInnes was unhappy with the officials for missing Tait’s infringement but could not hide from his team’s failure to perform on another big occasion.

Now he has promised a summer clear-out after admitting he has to take responsibility for two failed transfer windows.

“I’m disappointed - I expected more,” said McInnes, who was without the suspended trio Graeme Shinnie, Kenny McLean and Shay Logan. “Where I’m disappointed with my team is that there has been a pattern this season where we’ve lost the first goal and quickly lost another.

“That, for me, is down to mental focus and concentration.

“I said I wouldn’t use the players that were suspended as an excuse but it’s clear that we struggled to replace like for like.

“I don’t take responsibility in terms of today’s performance because as a manager you can’t legislate for mistakes.

“Where we I take responsibility is the recruitment. Today smacked me between the eyes that the strength of the squad wasn’t good enough.

“The decisions we’ve made in both windows have come back to bite us.

“There’s going to be a big turnaround in the summer. We’ve got a few loan players and have already lost Kenny (McLean, who will return to parent club Norwich) so there will be a big recruitment again.

“I didn’t play the team I wanted to play today, I played the team that needed to be played and unfortunately it wasn’t good enough.”