Ricki Lamie says Motherwell have been handed a reality check by Dundee - and that a slow start killed their chances of victory at Dens Park.

The Steelmen were swept aside 3-0 by James McPake's side in a hapless Premiership performance on Saturday. It came off the back of two impressive 2-0 wins over Aberdeen and Hearts.

Luke McCowan and Danny Mullen netted in a first half where, if it weren't for 'Well goalkeeper Liam Kelly, could have been more than 2-0.

Ryan Sweeney capped off Dundee's scoring four minutes after half-time but Motherwell remain fifth in the league after results elsewhere.

Fir Park manager Graham Alexander has asked questions of his side's mindset against teams beneath them - Dundee 11th in the league - and Lamie admits 'Well's timid beginning ultimately cost them.

He said: "It's a tough one. We've been sent crashing back to earth after a really good result last weekend against Hearts. We wanted to build on that ahead of a busy week but we haven't managed it.

"Dundee came out of the traps a lot quicker than we did - and that's where we built a lot of our success against Hearts. We've done that in other games too.

"We've started well and really took games to other teams. But this was the complete opposite of that. Dundee were the ones who came out the traps.

"Then in the second half they scored an early goal to make it three. When you give somebody a two-goal start, it's always going to be a challenge."

Lamie acknowledges that Dundee had more desire to claim maximum points on a cold afternoon in Tayside, but Motherwell had to show more ambition themselves.

He explained: "It was two scrappy goals from our point of view in the first half. We have to show a bit of fight and a bit of guile to try and get control of the game.

"They had more energy and more motivation to go and get the three points. It's a busy week now and we have to apply ourselves right."

Motherwell have two more games in the next week - at home to Dundee United on Tuesday before a trip to Premier Sports Cup finalists Hibs next Saturday.

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Lamie added: "Some games go for you and some games go against you. If you carry yourself right, you can say you had a good go. But I don't think we can say that here.

"We didn't lose belief but it was poor. We were just off the back of a good result against a good team. We've had it before this season where we have had a good result and then came up against someone below us.

"I don't know if that's an aspect. But regardless, we have to be better. No matter who you are playing against, you have to have that drive and motivation.

"It's really disappointing defensively and when we defend like we did, we ask for bother."

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