MOTHERWELL manager Stephen Robinson urged his players to “rattle” Aberdeen more at Hampden after defeat by the Dons ended their top-six hopes.
Second-half goals from Kari Arnason and Kenny McLean earned Aberdeen a 2-0 win at Fir Park and moved them into second place in the Ladbrokes Premiership.
Motherwell had beaten their opponents twice this season but Aberdeen levelled the series ahead of the William Hill Scottish Cup semi-final at Hampden on April 14.
Looking ahead to the cup tie, Robinson said: “We have to be more competitive and rattle them a bit more. We need to match them physically.
“In the four games, the team that has dominated physically have come out on top. In the first game, we dominated them, our strikers were very, very good on the night. We were strong and outran them.
“And for large periods this time, their back three/back four dominated our two strikers. There’s lots of lessons. We can be a lot better than that, make no mistake.
“They were good at times once they got control of the game but we gave them that because of two sloppy goals. We can be a lot more aggressive than that and we can be a lot better on the ball.”
Motherwell needed to win to keep their slim top-six hopes alive ahead of their trip to face St Johnstone but the encounter in Perth will now give Robinson the chance to rest some players ahead of the Hampden clash.
“We are bottom six because of our run in November and December,” said Robinson, whose side took one point from a possible 21 in the final month of 2017.
“When I look around I see Peter Hartley and Andy Rose injured, Allan Campbell limping off. He got a kick on his ankle so we took him off as a precaution. We had Charles Dunne and Nadir Ciftci not playing.
“We have a lot of injuries and that was the case in November/December. When you have those injuries with a squad of our size, it’s difficult to compete. That’s why we suffered.”