GRAHAM Alexander tonight claimed that his Motherwell side had Celtic “on the rack” as they pushed for a later equaliser in their Premiership encounter at Parkhead.
The Fir Park club allowed Stephen Welsh and Odsonne Edouard to score for the quadruple treble winners in the opening hour this afternoon – but then pulled a goal back when Allan Campbell netted a deflected strike.
Chris Long and Bevis Mugabi both had chances to level for the visitors before substitute Harry Smith had a header cleared off the goal line by Diego Laxalt in injury-time.
Former Scotland internationalist Alexander, whose side is just six points ahead of bottom-placed Hamilton, was proud of how his charges fought to the death.
“We conceded in our game plan that we would allow Celtic to have the ball in certain parts of the pitch which didn’t hurt us,” he said. “We wanted to be compact and defend the areas where Celtic score goals.
“The set piece goal was a real disappointment for us because it is a cheap goal to concede, but after that Liam (goalkeeper Kelly) has made one good save with his feet in the first-half.
“At half time we talked about contributing more to the game in possession ourselves which we did.
“Obviously the goal at the start of the second half gave them a cushion, but I thought we grew into the game and showed more confidence on the ball, we trusted each other with it.
“Once we got the goal back I thought we had them on the rack. We had them putting clearances out, slashing at stuff, clearing balls off the line.
“We went for it so credit to the players. I thought they were exceptional today because we know what a tough ask it is coming here. But they stuck to the game plan and we were a couple of millimetres short of getting a valuable point.”