Motherwell boss Graham Alexander thanked the Fir Park faithful for giving them the send-off that helped inspire them to a valuable point over champions Rangers on Sunday.

Steelmen supporters were locked out of Ibrox, with Rangers saying they had no space for an away allocation due to the Covid red zones still in place, on a day they unfurled last season’s championship flag.

And Motherwell had to request special permission from the SPFL to broadcast the game on screens at Fir Park so fans didn’t miss out completely.

Alexander says nobody had any idea that a crowd had gathered outside the stadium before they made the short trip to Govan, but he was delighted that they did as they helped inspire them to a 1-1 draw.

He said: “We met there just to name the team and travel through. When we came out we didn’t know they were there, but they were all outside applauding us onto the bus, which was brilliant and a great lift for us.

“Unfortunately no-one could be there, so that result and performance is for them.

Kaiyne Woolery equalised with a fine finish for Motherwell
Kaiyne Woolery equalised with a fine finish for Motherwell

“It was tough, it was hostile, and we had to compete against many opponents, but you saw those players – they were together, they were backing each other, supporting each other, and we knew we had that support back in Motherwell.

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“The players were immense in their togetherness, their work ethic. We know Rangers have great quality and are going to ask you a lot of questions, but I thought we stood up to that.

“I thought our defensive discipline by every single player was excellent.”

Kaiyne Woolery’s 66th minute strike cancelled out Fashion Sakala’s controversial 12th-minute opener – which appeared to be offside – and Alexander reckons Tony Watt should have had a penalty in the first half, for a foul by Kemar Roofe.

But while he was proud of his players, Alexander says the focus now turns to the visit of Malky MacKay’s Ross County this weekend.

Motherwell players celebrate Woolery's goal
Motherwell players celebrate Woolery's goal

He said: “My players deserve immense credit for coming here on a massive day, going 1-0 down to the champions, and coming back to earn something from the game.

“But we can’t get carried away with ourselves and we have to understand the challenges come thick and fast every week.”

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