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'It was outside the box' - Graham Alexander on decisive penalty decision

The Motherwell boss said Ross County's winning goal was down to a mistake.

‘It was outside the box’ – Graham Alexander on decisive penalty decision SNS Group

Motherwell manager Graham Alexander disagreed with the decision to award Ross County a penalty in his side’s 1-0 cinch Premiership defeat.

Joseph Hungbo scored the only goal of the game from the spot after Jake Carroll brought down County’s Kayne Ramsay as the right-back drove into the box.

Alexander felt the foul took place outside the penalty area, but admitted his side were not clinical enough as they struggled to find a breakthrough and slipped out of the top six.

“There was a lack of composure but that happens at times because the players are desperate to win but we gave a cheap foul away for their goal,” he said.

“It was outside the box but it was cheap, they get the penalty and the lead and the game became a bit of a slog after that.

“They held on and blocked up the spaces, their goalkeeper made a couple of saves but we didn’t hit the target often enough. That’s become a recurring theme for us.

“We’re not finding the quality to finish off the opportunities we create. I think I might have still been playing the last time we scored from a corner.

“But we have to find the answers because we’ve had a really strong season up until this period but it’s in danger of petering out. We have to bounce back against Dundee and prove we’re up for the fight because if we don’t then we’ll let a promising campaign drift away.”

Ross County boss Malky Mackay is looking upwards, however, and he praised the resilience of his side as they secured consecutive wins to move within four points of fourth place.

He said: “One of the best results in football is 1-0 and to come here, keep a clean sheet, get the goal and stand up to the barrage is really pleasing and it gives us back to back to wins for the first time in the season and it keeps that momentum going.”

Mackay was also full of praise for matchwinner Hungbo, who has excelled alongside fellow winger Regan Charles-Cook for the Staggies.

He added: “Joe’s gradually becoming a man. It was a good conversation I had with Watford who I have good ties with and it was about his first step out into men’s football and like any wingers they frustrate you but they’ve got that x-factor.

“He’s got his big pal on the other wing and the two of them are rubbing off on each other and Cookie’s (Regan Charles-Cook’s) been a bit of a mentor to him which also makes a big, big difference.”