Graham Alexander has stressed that belief is still strong at Motherwell as they look to get back to winning ways in the cinch Premiership against St Johnstone.
The Steelmen have not won in 10 league games and were beaten 2-1 by Hibernian in the Scottish Cup last week after playing most of the match with 10 men following the red card handed to defender Bevis Mugabi in the first minute.
With three games remaining before the split, Motherwell are in eighth place but only one point behind fourth-placed Hibernian.
Ahead of the trip to second-bottom St Johnstone on Saturday, Alexander is optimistic about picking up the first three points of 2022 which would help in the quest for a top-six finish.
He said: “We have three opportunities to get as many points as possible. We know we have been right on the verge of taking those points.
“We understand that we need to improve at both ends of the pitch but the belief is still there without a shadow of a doubt.
“You could see that (last week), it would have been easy to capitulate and give up but not once did that cross the players’ minds.
“You could see that from the performance. The supporters aren’t stupid and they stayed behind to give credit to the performance and the effort the players put in.
“We know with 11 men we could have had the performance we wanted and that has got to be the target tomorrow.
“We like to be in a positive and optimistic mood at all times. We understand the challenges of football and understand that we are not always going to win games but our effort and commitment has got to be there.
“We can pinpoint things we have done to not win a game so we can improve that and try to act upon that but we don’t come in the following week after a negative result all gloom and doom, we always look ahead to the next opportunity and plan for that.
“We can’t look ahead at any games coming up, it’s got to be tomorrow’s game and we know if we play well enough we have the opportunity to win three points but we know every game in this division is tough and we expect that tomorrow.”