Motherwell manager Stephen Robinson hailed one of the unsung members of his team for scoring the winner against Hearts in yesterday’s Scottish Cup quarter final – then admitted it was a “travesty” that Carl McHugh won’t be able to play at Hampden.
A booking in a fiercely-contested last-eight tie at Fir Park means the captain is banned from the Steelmen’s semi-final showdown against either Kilmarnock or Aberdeen.
Asked if he saw McHugh’s winner coming, Robinson said: “On Carl’s right foot? No I didn’t! But he was excellent today.
“He possibly doesn’t get the plaudits he deserves with the job he does in front of our back four: tackles, headers and the organisation he gives, which is excellent.
“He’s going to miss the semi-final because of that booking. It’s a travesty. So what we have to do is try and get to the final for him.”
Robinson reckoned his team deserved to win the tie. “I thought we were superb in the first half with our intensity and desire and getting right in their faces.
“Hearts came on strong in the second half and they had a 20-minute spell when they dominated the game. Trevor Carson had to pull out a world class save at 1-1 but we didn’t let the disappointment of the penalty decision get to us.”
Having had a taste of Hampden – and playing in the Betfred Cup final – Robinson said his players had been eager to get back to the national stadium. “They’d experienced that great feeling of beating Rangers in the last semi-final. For many of them it was a first. You couldn’t ask for a better bunch of boys and they’re thrilled to be going back.”