Kilmarnock V Motherwell at Rugby Park : Match Preview

03 March 2017
Kilmarnock V Motherwell - view commentary, squad, and statistics of the game live.


Managerless Well will be no pushovers, says Killie's Hendrie

Luke Hendrie insists Kilmarnock will not be fooled by the nightmare run which cost Mark McGhee his job as Motherwell boss.

Well return to action for the first time since McGhee was axed at Rugby Park on Saturday, with caretaker boss Stephen Robinson set to take charge.

Scotland assistant manager McGhee was relieved of his duties after his shambolic defence leaked 17 goals on their way to four straight defeats.

But right-back Hendrie believes those results are a blip and reckons the Fir Park outfit will still pose plenty of threats this weekend.

He said: "We've spoken this week in the dressing room about Motherwell and the one thing we all agreed on was that they are still a really good team.

"For all the bad results they have had, they had some good results too and also have some good players.

"We're well aware of the capabilities they have and are under no illusions that it will be a tough game. A few of their players will be disappointed the manager has gone and will be out to prove a point."

Killie claimed a surprise 2-0 win over St Johnstone last weekend as they put daylight between themselves and the teams scrapping it out at the bottom.

But on-loan Burnley defender Hendrie admits the six-point cushion separating the Ayrshire outfit from bottom dogs Inverness is not big enough to stop him worrying about relegation.

"I won't feel safe until the last game of the season and we know we're not in any danger," he said before facing Well, four points back in 11th.

"But it's important in these games coming up when we play these teams around us that we pick up points and hopefully increase the gap on the teams below us.

"We want to be looking up the table rather than down the ways. We need to carry on our recent run and not let complacency set in."

Robinson will not be the only interim boss in the dug-outs on Saturday, with Lee McCulloch still in temporary charge of Kilmarnock.

The former Rangers captain has yet to announce whether he will keep the job long term, but Hendrie reckons he is a perfect fit for the role.

He said: "The old manager left, but I think the team has been performing quite well and picked up a good result up at St Johnstone.

"Since Lee has come in, he's been a breath of fresh air. Everyone has enjoyed having him being in charge. He's had a great career obviously and that only breeds a winning mentality that is rubbing off on us."

Well right-back Richard Tait hopes a frank meeting has helped bring his team-mates together during a difficult build-up to Saturday's trip.

Captain Keith Lasley and other senior players spoke at a team meeting to stress the importance of Motherwell holding on to their top-flight status, which stretches back to 1985.

And Tait believes there will be a positive reaction as Motherwell bid to get out of the bottom two on Saturday.

"Las is the skipper and we had a meeting and a chat and plenty of positives came from it," said Tait, who is fit again after missing the Dundee thrashing.

"It lifted us a little bit in terms of how everyone is feeling and people got things off their chest. We go there on Saturday as a team and togetherness is key. We have that in abundance in the changing room.

"The meeting was a good thing, it needed to happen, and it was positive."

McGhee brought Tait back to Scotland from Grimsby last summer but the 27-year-old knows they cannot afford to dwell on their sadness at their now former manager's fate.

"All the boys would agree we have let the gaffer down and he has ultimately paid the price for it," Tait said.

"I just wish him all the best for the future and I'm really grateful he brought me to the club.

"It's been hard to see the gaffer go but everyone knows that's football and, as horrible as it sounds, we have to make a quick turnaround and focus on the game on Saturday. That's mainly what we have been doing.

"We have to go back to basics, be hard to beat, everyone knowing their jobs. That's what we have been working on this week, and done a lot of shape.

"We just spoke about not conceding goals and that's what we will go out there on Saturday trying to do."