Graham Alexander praised Motherwell fans for their Fir Park send-off which inspired Well to a 1-1 draw with Rangers at Ibrox.
No away supporters were allowed in the ground on a day when the Govan club unfurled the Premiership flag following last season’s 55th title win.
A couple of hundred Well fans turned at their Lanarkshire ground up to see the Steelmen set off on the short journey to Glasgow although the afternoon did not start well as Gers striker Fashion Sakala headed in his first competitive goal for the Light Blues after 12 minutes.
However, Motherwell’s tenacity was rewarded in the 66th minute when attacker Kaiyne Woolery fired in an equaliser.
Well became the first team to take league points from Ibrox since March 2020, to leave Steven Gerrard’s side one point ahead of Hibernian and Hearts at the top of the table.
Alexander said: “We had no backing here unfortunately but the supporters gave us a great send-off when we left the ground just after pre-match so we knew they were with us.
“We didn’t know they were going to be there but they were outside and applauded us on to the bus, it was a great lift for us.
“It was unfortunate none of them could be here today so that result and performance was for them.
“It was tough and it was hostile. We had to play against many opponents today, but you saw our players, they were backing each other, supporting each other and we knew we had that support back in Motherwell.
“My players deserve immense credit for coming here on a massive day, going 1-0 down to the champions and coming back to earn something from the game. And it was a deserved point at least.”
Gerrard was frustrated after the chance to go three points clear at the top of the table was passed up.
He said: “Look it’s two points dropped, there’s no getting away from that.
“I think box to box today we played some outstanding stuff. We got there on numerous occasions but our last pass, our final cross and us taking our chances just wasn’t there today.
“We’ve only got ourselves to blame. When you don’t get the second goal you lose that control and you’ve always got that chance to be vulnerable at the back.
“We’ve had these lessons before. That’s the concern. We give the players the detail and the detail doesn’t really change.
“We have to take ownership of it. That was a straight-forward home win for me and we should be three points clear at the top. Instead we’re only one and that feels frustrating right now.
“We’ll put it in context at the end but right now it doesn’t feel like there’s anything positive from today.”