Motherwell: Graham Alexander ‘pride’ at overcoming ‘daunting challenge’ before exit

Graham Alexander took charge after losing his job with Salford City

Graham Alexander has repeated his “pride” at overcoming “a daunting challenge” of saving Motherwell from relegation then qualifying for Europe.

He parted with the Scottish Premiership club last week after losing to Irish side Sligo Rovers in their opening Europa Conference League qualifier.

But the 50-year-old described it as “a fantastic 18 months” as manager.

“It is a period that I will always remember fondly,” he told the League Managers Association website.

Alexander thanked both the board and players for their support and hard work during his stay along with assistant Chris Lucketti.

The Coventry-born former Scotland full-back pointed out that they had taken charge with Motherwell “bottom of the league and staring relegation in the face”.

“Succeeding in preserving Motherwell’s Premiership status, with a few games to spare, was so important to the club both on and off the pitch,” he said.

“Our next challenge was to trim and improve the squad, to create a group of players that could aim for a top-half finish. In our only full season, we managed to do all of this and qualify for Europe, after spending 27 weeks of the season in the top six.”

Alexander returned to the theme of his statement when Motherwell announced they had parted “by mutual consent”.

“I will always remember what we, as a team, achieved together – qualifying for Europe, earning the third highest points tally behind only Celtic and Rangers – and being the fourth highest scorers across the league,” he added.

“Whilst focusing on those aims, we also reintroduced the under-18’s back into full-time training, allowing us to include several academy players in our senior squad.”

Simo Valakari is among those who applied for the vacancy at Fir Park, while fellow former Motherwell midfielder Paul Lambert has been quoted as saying he is open to an approach.

Academy coach Steven Hammell, who led Well to an opening Scottish Premiership win away to St Mirren on Sunday, remains in caretaker charge and has refused to rule himself out of the running.

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