Best team lost says Motherwell boss after ICT win

Motherwell manager Stuart McCall. Picture: SNS
Motherwell manager Stuart McCall. Picture: SNS
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MOTHERWELL boss Stuart McCall was pleased to mark his 150th game in charge of the club with a win over Inverness - but admitted the best side lost.

Goals from Lionel Ainsworth and John Sutton secured the victory that allowed the Steelmen to move level on points with Aberdeen in joint-second spot in the Scottish Premiership.

But McCall concedes his players were fortunate to claim maximum points on a night when Inverness did not deserve to make the long trip back to the Highlands empty-handed.

He said: “I was delighted to mark [the 150th game] with three points although I would have liked us to play a little bit better.

“But we can’t have everything. Overall, against a good Inverness side, we are delighted with the three points.

“I’ve seen lots of games this season when teams have won and probably haven’t been the best side and that was the case for us in this game.

“It’s not often I’ve said that this season but it’s a clean sheet and three points and those are the bonus bits.

“We can play better and we will have to play better between now and the end of the season.”

The defeat meant more heartache for Inverness just three days after losing the League Cup final to Aberdeen on penalties.

League Cup final reaction

But boss John Hughes was thrilled with the reaction from his players despite taking nothing from the game at Fir Park.

He said: “We played some really good stuff. Goals change games and, if we had scored first, it would have been a whole different game.

“From start to finish, the effort and commitment was absolutely different class.

“Those boys run that dressing room, I’m only there to help them and guide them.

“My part as the manager is to work with them and get the best out of them and listen to them. The reaction from them has been different class.

“I take nothing away from Motherwell, when they got their chances they were ruthless. It wasn’t to be but we roll our sleeves up and come back.”

Inverness may be in fifth place in the table, without a win in their last five matches, but Hughes has refused to give up hope of securing a European berth.

He added: “We need to get back to keeping clean sheets - that’s what we pride ourselves on.

“If we do that, with 10 games remaining, the challenge is to try to get Europe. To do that, we need to get back to winning football matches.

“But I would never bet against those guys in that dressing room doing it, that’s for sure.”