Motherwell manager Stephen Robinson’s comments after yesterday’s 5-2 defeat to Celtic showed a bit of class.
In the past, Robinson has said some pretty eyebrow-raising remarks after Celtic matches. For example, after our last meeting, a 4-1 win at Parkhead, Robinson refused to accept any blame for unsportsmanlike behaviour from his team (Football Scotland).
Meanwhile, Motherwell could’ve had reason to feel aggrieved at our fourth goal when Boli Bolingoli clearly handballed in our own half. There was plenty of work still to do, of course, and we would also later have a stonewall penalty denied for handball too as things evened up.
And even though Motherwell fans were clearly fuming with the referee at full-time, Robinson has brought some sense from a Steelmen perspective. Speaking on Sky Sports Football’s coverage of Motherwell vs Celtic (August 10th, 11am), Robinson claimed he wasn’t interested in bringing the referee into things.
“I can’t affect the referee’s decisions, I can only affect us. We didn’t lose the game because of the referee’s decisions. We lost the game because of our own decisions.
“Four of the five goals, it was individual errors. If you give sloppy goals like that away you are going to get punished, and we got punished very much. In the second half, we didn’t keep the ball and retain it like we wanted to.
“Obviously you want to hold onto the lead. We had worked on stopping them playing and making them kick longer. But our starting position was poor from it. It was one long ball that caused the problem (for Griffiths’ goal).”
Stephen Robinson’s comments bring some common-sense to the matter
Nothing yesterday was influenced by referee Nick Walsh’s decision-making. Outside of the Boli handball and the potential Charles Dunne one which could’ve seen a Hoops penalty – nothing major happened.
Credit to the referee for getting the decision right when Declan Gallagher hauled Griffiths to the deck. It was a spot-on decision from Walsh, and Griffiths would then do the damage from there.
Any notion that the referee had a part to play anywhere else is ridiculous. Celtic overcame the Steelmen through their own quality in the final third and nothing else.
But for once, it’s nice to see Robinson also agree with that assessment. Sure, he may get some stick for saying four of Celtic’s five goals came from individual errors from his own side. But the Steelmen boss has to look at it from his own team’s perspective.
At the very least, he’s doing it this time without trying to point the finger of blame elsewhere. He has also acknowledged Celtic’s quality in other post-match interviews since the game too (Motherwell TV).
But one thing’s for sure, it certainly wasn’t Nick Walsh who rattled five past Mark Gillespie yesterday.