Sack does not cross Stuart Kettlewell’s mind as Motherwell claim late point

Posted Sunday, December 10, 2023 by PA

Sack does not cross Stuart Kettlewell’s mind as Motherwell claim late point

Stuart Kettlewell insisted the thought of the sack did not cross his mind despite Motherwell requiring a last-gasp equaliser to claim a 1-1 cinch Premiership draw at home to St Johnstone.

The Steelmen looked set for another damaging defeat after Bevis Mugabi turned the ball into his own net following a goalkeeping error from Liam Kelly, though they would salvage a point when Mika Beireth brilliantly headed home in stoppage time.

Motherwell are now 13 games without a league win, a run that has seen them drop to 10th in the table – with only goal difference separating them and St Johnstone.

“I don’t think about it if I’m being honest, it’s not something that goes through my mind,” Kettlewell said.

“I probably just felt that we at least got our just rewards for what the game was and everything that happened in the game.

“When the emotion is the way it is and the run that you are on just now, it certainly doesn’t stop the fact it makes our group feel a lot better and the environment inside this stadium becomes better.

“It’s not what we wanted We didn’t want to come and just pick up a point, we were avidly going for three – but I just felt our confidence takes another dip when we concede that silly goal.”

Having levelled in injury time, Well have now struck late over the last three Saturdays to earn a dramatic point.

Kettlewell feels it is a good demonstration of the fighting qualities within his squad and that they are continuing to fight to address the slump that has seen them fail to record a victory since September.

“Everybody is always looking for a story to write and that somebody’s body language wasn’t right, somebody wasn’t running in the game, or you see someone being petulant in among such a bad run that we find ourselves on,” he added.

“I would challenge anybody to tell me that they have seen that today and again that is probably epitomised by that injury-time goal – we are trying exceptionally hard to get results and turn it around.

“I believe they’ve got my back and I sure as heck know I’ve got theirs as well. I think more often than not, that’s the formula to get you out of a sticky patch.”

Craig Levein admitted he thought his St Johnstone team had done enough to record a priceless victory at Fir Park.

The former Hearts boss has made an excellent start to life at Saints, picking up 11 points from six matches, though they slipped into the relegation play-off spot after Saturday’s draw.

“Stuart’s team have done quite well late on in matches and we had spoken about that,” Levein said.

“I thought we had defended really well the whole game and for once I was sitting there relatively confident we could see it out – little do I know.

“I don’t know yet (if it was a good point), I’ll wake up during the night and think about that.”

Levein felt that failing to capitalise on a strong spell following their opener eventually proved to be costly for Saints.

Chris Kane missed a glorious chance and Graham Carey’s free-kick cannoned off the crossbar with the goalkeeper beaten.

“We played well in that period of the game and then Graham has hit a brilliant free-kick, an inch or two lower and that’s in as well,” he added.

“I think we needed to get to two but I’ve got to give credit to Motherwell for knuckling down and getting themselves back into the game.”


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