Tommy Wright felt his Kilmarnock side’s decision-making had finally come good as a 4-1 win over Motherwell lifted them off the bottom of the Scottish Premiership.
Second-half goals from Rory McKenzie, Chris Burke and Mitch Pinnock earned Killie a first victory since January 9 after Motherwell midfielder Barry Maguire had quickly cancelled out Kyle Lafferty’s first-minute opener.
The Ayrshire outfit had only taken one point from their previous 10 matches, but Wright felt key moments were the only difference against Motherwell.
“I do believe we have played better and not picked up results,” he said after enjoying his first win as Killie manager.
“The performance had moments of quality, a lot of character, we worked really hard for each other and dealt with a lot of long balls into our area and made the right decisions at the right moments in the game.
“That’s something we have probably lacked since I have been here, and probably throughout the season, and cost us so many points.”
The signing of Lafferty could well be the key to Killie’s chances. The former Hearts and Rangers forward struck from 25 yards, although Motherwell goalkeeper Liam Kelly should have done better.
“He has scored three goals in two games and been involved in another two goals, particularly Mitch’s goal with a good ball in behind,” Wright said.
“He’s a presence. He can score goals if you get him the service. We knew what we were getting.
“We have to keep him fit. He was just tightening up a little bit in terms of tiredness so we brought him off. He is going to be a big player for us in the last five games, as I knew he would, as I know the type of character he is.
“He can be a bit of a nightmare at times to look after because he is always wanting to play the practical joke, but he is a good professional and someone that wants to do well here.”
Motherwell had the chance to all but secure their top-flight status but now find themselves only seven points above the danger zone.
Manager Graham Alexander, who declined to comment on a strong first-half penalty claim for Brandon Haunstrup’s nudge on Stephen O’Donnell, said: “We were 1-1 at half-time but we hadn’t played well enough, we hadn’t done the things we had been doing in the last three games.
“It’s quite simple, there’s three or four ingredients that you have to put together to win a game of football and if you don’t do them, you get a result and performance like that.
“I don’t think they were particularly good goals, they weren’t ones that we couldn’t do anything about, so we have to look at what we could have done better.
“But I just thought all over the pitch we were nowhere near the level of intensity to win a game of football.”
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