Motherwell manager Stephen Robinson has admitted he checks players out on social media before signing them.
Robinson said: “Myself, [chief scout] Martin Foyle and [video analyst] Ross Clarkson sat for hours finding out about people’s character. People also give a lot away on social media! So you find out who is a good lad and who isn’t. You don’t get them all right but I feel we got the vast majority of characters correct and they are decent players.”
After making 13 new signings, most observers would have anticipated the new boys taking some time to find their feet, particularly as most are experiencing Scottish football for the first time.
But after winning their last three fixtures Motherwell occupy fifth place in the table and next week will face Aberdeen at Fir Park for a place in the semi-finals of the BetFred Cup.
Robinson insists the fact his new arrivals have hit the ground running is not just down to good fortune. Profiling potential signings by scrutinising their posts on social media has proved to be a useful tool. Robinson added: “I think you have to now. We don’t spend millions of pounds on players but if we bring players in we can’t afford to get too many wrong.
“You have to do your due diligence on their background, what type of character they are, their injury profiles. We do all of that and it’s massively time consuming. I need to pay tribute to Martin and Ross for the work they do as well.
“We now have good characters at the club and that gives you a chance. Social media is a footprint of what people do. Obviously, we look at footballing ability first and foremost, and then the player’s background. You have to do every single check.
“We looked at one boy and there was no record of his injury history but we actually found an injury three years previously that was very serious. We ended up not signing him because of it.
“We found that from his Twitter profile so we do go to those depths to ensure our details are right.”
Motherwell meet Hibernian at Easter Road tomorrow and it will be the first time Robinson has gone head to head with former Northern Ireland team-mate Neil Lennon.
“We came through various different teams and age groups together,” said Robinson. “Lenny was always a character and had a big opinion on the game. He’s proved that as a manager as well.”