Losing any game is unacceptable. But to lose in a semi-final and be outfought and outbattled throughout the whole game is disgusting. Pedro talks about strong mentalities, men and warriors, yet there was none of that today. We were deservedly beaten. It feels like we are beginning to develop a Hampden curse. Our luck at the national stadium recently has been absolutely appalling.
First of all, let me start with Pedro. I think he got things wrong. Not with the starting XI, because most of us would have picked that from the outset, but in the way we approached the game. I walked to my seat in the stadium and felt an instant flatness in the atmosphere. Instantly, I thought it would be a tough afternoon for us.
I felt he approached the game in a which was to stop Motherwell’s strengths rather than focus on going out there, letting the team play with freedom and take the game to them. It turned into a complete scrap and we came out second best. Another big game, and another game where the midfield – all five of them got totally outfought and overran in there. It was deplorable. Everyone can have bad days at the office. There is simply no excuse for not wanting it as much if not more than your opponents. That’s what leaves me most angry. We have been starved of trophies for six years or so and we have a real chance of making a cup final.
The fans did their bit by turning up in numbers but the players, again, for the numerous time over the last five years, let us down. It’s a mentality issue. No one can tell me that Motherwell man for man are better than us because the fact of the matter is they are simply not. However, on the day, they had the mentality required to progress to the final, which we simply didn’t have, again.
It’s been a long-time issue since Warburton’s time and even though Caixinha talks about it a lot, it seems that same problem has transferred itself to his group of players. It doesn’t matter who the manager is longer term, if we cannot eradicate this weak mentality issue from the club, we will continue to come up short in the bigger games, just like this one.
I do not know where we go from here as a club. As per usual after every defeat or draw the knives will be getting sharpened. I wrote earlier in the season that we should give Pedro until the winter break and assess where we are, but if he keeps on coming up short in these kinds of matches, there will only be one outcome.
It’s a tough one to take today. However, we need to come out fighting on Wednesday and make sure we pick up the win. If we cannot do that, Pedro will be under serious, serious pressure come Thursday morning, if he isn’t already. Do I want him replaced? At this point in time, I actually have no idea.