Motherwell’s top-three finish last season made Stephen Robinson a leading candidate for the Football Writers’ Manager of The Year award.
He didn’t win it, that honour going to Neil Lennon, who – with the Scottish Cup Final to be played on December 20 – may yet finish the year by celebrating an interrupted Treble.
Nevertheless, the efforts of the Celtic boss’s fellow Northern Irishman, while operating on a comparatively small budget, were appreciated by those who cover the game.
Tommy Wright was likewise impressed, and he knows precisely how hard his countryman will work to do even better in the coming campaign.
“Motherwell and Stephen Robinson had a really good season last year,” he said.
“The shutdown probably came at a good time for them because they were on a bad run, with only one win eight in games. However, there was no taking away from them how well they did overall.
“Where Steven will be looking to improve is to turn some of their defeats at least into draws.
“Although they had a high percentage of wins, the same was true of their losses. They lost 12 games, which was actually more than any of the three clubs who finished immediately below them.
“So they will be looking to keep their win ratio up, but improve their stats elsewhere.
“If they can do that, then they can consolidate.
“It is always difficult for clubs the size of Motherwell, Kilmarnock and St Johnstone to keep getting into the top six season after season.
“So Stephen will be looking for consistency, and top six again would be another good season for them.”
Crucially, Wright is sure Robinson will get the backing he needs in the transfer market.
“Motherwell are a club with a great recruitment record, especially in England,” he continued.
“ I know from speaking to their CEO, Alan Burrows, that the board at Fir Park try to back their managers to the hilt.
“As he put it, if they can find an extra tenner down the side of the sofa, they chuck it in the transfer pot.”
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