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Ex-Northern Ireland coach Stephen Robinson in mix for Motherwell job

By Conor McLaughlin

Ex-Northern Ireland coach Stephen Robinson is in contention for the Motherwell job following Mark McGhee’s sacking.

A former member of Michael O’Neill’s backroom team, Lisburn-born Robinson has been placed in interim charge of the Scottish Premiership strugglers alongside old international team-mate Stephen Craigan and Fir Park veteran James McFadden.

Robinson, who had previously been ‘Well’s assistant manager during Ian Baraclough’s tenure, returned to the club’s coaching staff just eight days ago following an ill-fated stint as boss of English League One side Oldham Athletic — a position he assumed after stepping down from his duties with Northern Ireland.

“There’s obviously a lot of love for Mark at the club, he was here a long time, but the players are paid to play football and ultimately they get another chance when sometimes managers don’t, so they have to pick themselves up,” said Robinson.

McGhee - himself in charge of the North Lanarkshire outfit for a second spell - was given his marching orders yesterday following a run of four consecutive defeats that had seen the Steelmen ship 17 goals en route to tumbling to within just two points of the relegation zone.

Seven-times capped Robinson has been appointed caretaker manager, with Craigan - who last night ruled himself out of contention for the permanent post - and player-coach McFadden assisting him in preparation for Saturday's trip to Kilmarnock.

"We've conceded a lot of goals and we have to try to stop that. If you don't do the basics right, which we didn't do on Saturday and possibly haven't done in the last lot of weeks, then it doesn't matter who sits in the hotseat," added Robinson.

"You have to win headers, you have to win tackles and show a desire to play for the football club. It's a situation that we can most definitely get out of."

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