STEPHEN ROBINSON: SQUAD DEPTH KEY TO MOTHERWELL SUCCESS
Motherwell manager Stephen Robinson acknowledged the depth of his squad after a substitute played a key role in a third consecutive victory.
Gael Bigirimana came off the bench to set up Ryan Bowman to net a 65th-minute opener in a 2-0 Fir Park win over Kilmarnock as the Steelmen again impressed in the second half.
Bowman himself had helped change the game along with fellow half-time sub Allan Campbell in the recent victory over Ross County and the strength of Robinson’s squad was further evident when post-war club record appearance holder Steven Hammell replaced the ill Charles Dunne and new signing Liam Grimshaw entered the fray.
Robinson, whose side sealed the points thanks to Louis Moult’s late penalty, said: “We have a squad that I can turn around and change the game and do something different.
“I feel last season the team picked itself at times which isn’t healthy for competition and people keeping on top of their game.”
Bigirimana injected some guile into Motherwell’s attacking play and threaded the ball through for Bowman to finish impressively after the striker drifted off Killie sub Kirk Broadfoot.
Robinson said: “We are wanting that from Bigi for 90 minutes, not for 30 minutes, and that’s what I am trying to drum into him. I am not going to drop my levels, he has got to get up to our level. He has got to come up to our tempo.
“He has so much quality, we want him involved and he is a super, super boy and infectious around the club. He has come on and given me a headache.”
The opener fittingly came after Campbell won the ball inside his own half, not for the first time in a performance brimming with energy from the 19-year-old.
Robinson said: “I thought he was terrific, absolutely terrific. He has been knocking on the door and he came on and changed the game against Hearts, and he came on and changed the game against Ross County. I just thought he had trained so well and that’s why he started the game.”
Killie remain on one point after five games and manager Lee McCulloch had few complaints.
“It was a silly goal to give away again,” McCulloch said. “We came back in the game a wee bit without creating clear opportunities and I thought, on the second half, Motherwell probably deserved the three points.”