Motherwell manager Stuart Kettlewell has called for his players to ride out the storm after seeing nerves creep into their game against Aberdeen.
Kettlewell’s side have now gone six games without a win and, although they have played well in some of those matches, they produced what the manager felt was the worst display of his reign in Wednesday’s 4-2 home defeat.
Motherwell played some decent passing football until Jamie McGrath opened the scoring in the 26th minute with the first real chance for either team.
The setback appeared to cause some self-doubt among the Motherwell team, with passes going astray and fans starting to get on their backs.
The home side were four down before substitutes Theo Bair and Mika Biereth replied late on.
Motherwell have not taken the lead during those six matches and, although they came from two goals down to draw against Ross County, Kettlewell knows they cannot react the same way again to a setback.
Kettlewell said: “From the first goal, I thought you could see the start of a little bit of nervous energy, I think you could see worse decision-making than before the first goal. And that can never be us.
“Whether you are getting a bit of stick from the crowd or from your mate, that doesn’t matter, that shouldn’t impact you or change who you are and what you are doing.
“I always reference back that we do have human beings and there are mistakes and errors within that, but I just felt there became a real nervous energy amongst us and we made a lot of bad choices when we found ourselves a goal down.
“I think history will tell you, not least at the weekend, even when we find ourselves in that position, as long as we are still within touching distance, we have had character to come back into games.
“But we can’t keep putting ourselves in that position. It’s as simple as that. At some point we are going to have to take the lead, at some point we are going to have to ride out tough spells in the game better than we are.
“If we do that, then you give yourself a chance in the game.
“I don’t have a miraculous answer for why we started to look like that but it’s fair to say we did.”
Kettlewell accepted the negative reaction from sections of the Fir Park crowd.
“It’s everybody’s own decision what they want to do, whether you support your team or you want to come to the football and start venting your anger or frustration,” he said.
“If you can’t accept it and you can’t take it, you are in the wrong industry.
“That doesn’t change anything in my mindset. What puts me up or down is the result and the performance. That’s the thing that has a huge bearing on me.
“And nobody will ever know how much time you spend on it and how much it impacts your entire life and everything you do.
“That’s not a sob story. Supporters being disgruntled, we want to do our best for them. We are trying to make sure we get results and the biggest thing that impacts me is results.”
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