Motherwell manager Steven Hammell admitted their performance against St Johnstone was “nowhere near good enough” after they lost 2-0 at Fir Park.
Hammell’s side had a chance to move away from the bottom of the cinch Premiership and cut the gap on Saints to one point but they delivered their worst display of the league campaign, managing only one shot on target.
Goals early in each half from Drey Wright and Melker Hallberg allowed Saints to comfortably see out the win as they ended a seven-match losing streak.
Hammell said: “It was nowhere near good enough, especially the way we finished the game, we went out with a bit of a whimper, in fact more than that.
“This season we have had a lot of good stuff and come out and said we didn’t get what we deserved. Today wasn’t like that.
“We spoke about it at length, they are under no illusions. It was a big game for us, we could have pushed on and gained a bit of momentum, but it was nowhere near good enough.
“We could have made many subs at half-time. Shane (Blaney) going off injured took away one of the subs or we would have made more.”
Hammell handed out four debuts and confirmed another new signing would be announced in the next 24 hours.
“We are playing and starting boys who have just met the players,” he said. “It’s not an excuse but that’s where we are at. It’s not ideal.”
Saints manager Callum Davidson hailed his players’ character to come out of their poor run of results with what he agreed was their most complete performance of the season.
“We’ve been on a difficult run where we probably haven’t played quite as bad as the results have shown,” he said. “We have had some tough games.
“But what I will say about the players, they never let their heads go down. The last two Rangers games and today, they played with real energy and togetherness.
“That’s the most pleasing thing for me because mentally it’s tough when you are on that run. They showed great character.”
Nicky Clark set up the opener with some excellent link-up play hours after winning his appeal against his red card at Ibrox on Saturday.
Davidson said: “He’s a really important player for us, Nicky, not only with his goals but his link-up play. I didn’t think it was a red and I still don’t so I’m glad he played.”