Bigirimana anxious cup final defeats don't dim Motherwell's fine season

Substitute Gael Bigirimana was robbed of one of the great Hampden free-kick goals when his late effort hit the junction of Craig Gordon's post and crossbar.

Motherwell skipper Carl McHugh, left, and Gael Bigirimana at full-time. Picture: SNS.
Motherwell skipper Carl McHugh, left, and Gael Bigirimana at full-time. Picture: SNS.

He admits such moments are hard to shake from his head, but is anxious that two cup final defeats to Celtic are not allowed to overshadow a successful season for Motherwell.

“I could see what Craig Gordon was trying to do and push his defensive wall to one side to see more of the ball, so I tried to aim for the target but it hit the post,” he said, as he reflected on his side’s 2-0 Scottish Cup final defeat.

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“Once I hit it, I saw it heading for the top corner but in the blink of an eye it hit the post. Those sorts of things will be in your head but it’s gone. You can’t change the past, so you have to renew your mind.”

Motherwell might have been handed a ray of hope had Celtic also been reduced to ten men for the foul leading up to the free-kick, after Dedryck Boyata impeded Chris Cadden on the edge of the box.

“It’s not for me to say if it should have been a red card but on days like Saturday you need those sort of moments to go for you and make the game more intense for both teams and fans and have a grandstand finish,” said Bigirimana. “After the season we’ve had we hoped to finish with a cup but it obviously wasn’t meant to be. But we’ve had a great campaign and we’ll benefit from it as a team and a club.

“It might not feel like it after a defeat but sometimes you get better and stronger when you’ve been knocked down and you have to get up again.

“For the majority of the players it’s been a first season in Scotland,” said the Burundian midfielder. “It’s a team just put together for the first year together with new players and staff so we can take so much confidence.

“For me, it’s been a different type of growth. I’ve had to play as a substitute for most of the season but it’s all about the team,” he added.