Football - All Well and good for McCall

Motherwell manager Stuart McCall praised his players for finishing the week with the back-to-back wins that strengthens their hold on second place following a narrow win at Hearts.

PA Sport
Football - All Well and good for McCall

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Stuart McCall's Motherwell stormed to two goals up after only eight minutes against Hearts

After collapsing to a surprise 3-0 Clydesdale Bank Premier League loss at Ross County last Saturday, the Fir Park side stunned Celtic in midweek before emerging 2-1 winners at Tynecastle.

McCall said: "It was a big result because it was probably the lowest I felt last Saturday, it just shows you the highs and low of football. We've bounced back, two gritty performance as much as anything and the table looks a little bit rosier now."

A blistering start saw the visitors storm two goals up after only eight minutes. Michael Higdon netted his 20th of the season before Dylan McGowan was credited with an own goal.

John Sutton scored for Hearts - who had Gary Locke and Darren Murray in joint-control in the first game since manager John McGlynn's departure - but the visitors held on to move three points clear of Inverness.

McCall added: "All managers ask for a good start, it was important to start well. With Lockie in charge, I knew the crowd would be up for it. I was delighted with the start and then the pitch began to cut up. We played some good football and we knew it was always going to be a battle in the second half.

"Coming in 2-0 at half-time was great. They scored and they put a lot of balls in the box but we stood firm."

Joint-interim manager Locke believes Hearts can arrest their five-game losing slump if they can replicate their second-half performance for an entire match.

The Gorgie outfit piled on the pressure and grabbed a deserved goal through the head of Sutton, but could not find an equaliser.

Locke, who now turns his attention to Tuesday's visit of St Johnstone, said: "I think we can be pretty positive about the second half. I've told the players we can't do that for 45 minutes, we need to do it for 90, especially with the run we're going through."

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