Motherwell captain Liam Kelly confessed the squad had “massively” let Steven Hammell down after their Scottish Cup exit against Raith Rovers sparked the end of the manager’s six-month tenure.
The goalkeeper admitted his own performance was not good enough after a 3-1 defeat made it four losses in a row and saw Hammell lose his job.
Motherwell have not won in the league since October 29 and Stuart Kettlewell will now take interim charge ahead of Wednesday’s visit of St Mirren.
Kelly faced up to the media on Saturday after Hammell and assistant Brian Kerr left Stark’s Park soon after the defeat ahead of confirmation that the club had ended their spell in charge.
The former Rangers, QPR and Livingston player said: “The manager is a really good guy and we have let him down massively. He has done everything he could for us, absolutely everything he could for us in preparation for the game.
“We have let him down massively. He has been fair to a lot of us who have gone though poor form, he has kept us in the team, and we have failed to deliver for him. Every single one of us.
“I have a really good relationship with the manager. There were no doubts we were playing for him, we were absolutely playing for him. Our confidence is really low as players, when confidence goes it is really difficult to get it back, but there is only way you get it back – by fighting.
“We were absolutely desperate to win the game but we were just not good enough.
“We are absolutely desperate to get it right but confidence is low, it is clear for everyone to see we are really low in confidence. Raith Rovers are the opposite, they came off the back of reaching a cup final and you feel the difference.”
About 2,000 Motherwell fans travelled to Fife after banners placed outside Fir Park implored the players to show passion.
“We are getting beat all the time, we are letting them down so badly,” Kelly said. “We are so aware of that.
“We don’t want to lose games, we absolutely hate losing games, we are absolutely devastated at losing games. Our family come here every week and we go home to them after they have watched us get beat. We don’t want that.
“The supporters had no right to go to Raith in the numbers that they did, absolutely no right.
“They have no right to come out and support us on Wednesday night, but they will because that’s how good they have been for us. We need them now more than ever, honestly, we need them more than ever.
“The boys are gutted, they are absolutely devastated. We feel as though we have let the club down, we have let the manager down, and most of all let the supporters down.”
Motherwell sit level on points with bottom club Dundee United and Kelly knows there is only one way to get out of their predicament.
“We need to get a grip and we need to drag ourselves through it,” he said.
“I came to the club two years ago in January when we were bottom of the league and we managed to turn it round.
“We are going to need to stick together. Everybody will see us as the team they want to play against. We need to show grit and determination and fight, and we will fight. We will absolutely fight and give it everything we have got.
“Our backs are against the wall now and there is only one way forward. We have got to use the experience in the changing room and find a way out of this terrible situation we are in.”
STV News is now on WhatsApp
Get all the latest news from around the countryFollow STV News
Follow STV News on WhatsApp
Scan the QR code on your mobile device for all the latest news from around the country