Kettlewell puts focus on team after ‘massive’ win for Motherwell

Motherwell beat Hearts 2-0 to make it consecutive wins under Kettlewell.

Interim Motherwell boss Stuart Kettlewell puts focus on team after ‘massive’ win SNS Group

Interim Motherwell boss Stuart Kettlewell shifted the focus towards his players after they defeated third-placed Hearts 2-0 to record a second win in the space of five days.

Kettlewell’s temporary stint in charge has seen him lift the Steelmen six points clear of the bottom of the Premiership table and he will now await the decision of the Fir Park board as to whether he will land the job on a permanent basis.

Ian Holloway and Grant McCann have also been interviewed for the role, with a decision expected early in the coming week.

“The players were excellent today, I don’t want to make it about me,” he said.

“There’s been no contact or conversation about what happens and I’m not expecting it – I wasn’t thinking that was going to be the case win, lose or draw anyway.

“I want to get up the road and try chill out to be brutally honest, this week has been chaos, it has been hectic, trying to work towards six points which we’ve managed to achieve.

“Individually, if I do make it about myself, I think you have to reset and try and get some sleep as well – that’s not been coming too freely recently.”

Goals from Jon Obika and Blair Spittal earned Motherwell a deserved win against a below-par Hearts side.

Having gone almost six months without a home win in the league, the Fir Park side have now recorded back-to-back successes on home soil for the first time since December 2021, as well as keeping their first clean sheet since October.

“The clean sheet is really pleasing, the quality of opposition we faced today, what I said before the game wasn’t for effect – it was because that’s what I genuinely believe,” Kettlewell added.

“I thought the players handled the game so well, you could just see the belief with their shape and their discipline.

“All credit goes to the players for what is a massive victory for this football club.

“The supporters here got something that they deserved, you listen to them at full-time and they are firmly behind the players – but the players gave them something to be behind, it’s nice to see that.”

Hearts boss Robbie Neilson was downbeat after his side produced a disappointing display at Fir Park.

The visitors struck the woodwork twice in the first half but, after conceding just 15 seconds after the restart, they rarely troubled the Motherwell defence.

“I thought we were really poor today, probably the worst we’ve been in quite some time,” he said.

“We’ve been on a decent run of form, but to perform like that, we weren’t anywhere near the level – that was really frustrating.

“We’ve set a standard here and were way below it, we have to try rectify that.”

Defeat in Lanarkshire means that Hearts remain five points clear of their city rivals Hibernian in third spot and the Jambos boss insists there is still work to be done to ensure the season ends on a positive note.

“We’re only five points clear and I think the most we have been is eight, it’s never done and dusted until it’s over,” he said.

“We need to continue and focus on ourselves and get back to winning ways.”

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