Stephen Robinson hailed his Motherwell kids for holding their own against Celtic.

The Fir Park gaffer insisted his side could hold their heads high despite slumping to defeat at Parkhead.

Robinson’s starting XI was wrecked in the build up when skipper Peter Hartley joined the crock list alongside key men such as Liam Donnelly and Charles Dunne.

Robinson said: “When you lose you captain on the day of the game and your top goalscorer in Liam Donnelly, who also gives us that defensive backbone, of course.

“I asked Richard Tait to come in and do a job at the left of the back three because we’d worked all week on a shape and he was terrific, as was Barry Maguire.

“That’s where we are as a football club we have to put young kids into the team.

“They are bringing Ryan Christie on, we’re bringing on kids.

“The positive aspects though certainly outweigh any negativity.

“I take things from the performance, but not the result. We are never happy getting beat.

“I have to give a lot of credit to the players, they worked their socks off for me.

“I thought we were very good on the ball from the back to the middle, and I put two attacking subs on to try and got for it.

“We go away, take the positives and we learn again. At Rangers we lost a goal from our free-kick too.

“We’ll go on to the next set of games with a positive mind-set.”

Motherwell went behind early but never buckled and even when Celtic went two up they were still in the game.

Robinson said: “I thought it was a good performance. Our shape worked well and we contained them a lot, and we had a threat on the counter.

“We had some good performances, Devante Cole was terrific, Bevis Mugabi, young Barry Maguire making only his second start of the season.

“We limited Celtic to an own goal, and we had the free-kick that they scored the first one from and put it in the goalkeeper’s hands and then it’s a defensive error after that.

“We got punished, Declan Gallagher intercept the ball and Edouard puts it in the top corner, that’s the level you’re up against.

“There was a lot of positives for us, we were very organised and the boys carried it out to the letter.

“Could we have held more of a threat in the final third? Yeah, but they wear you down.

“You don’t beat Lazio if you’re not a top-class side.”

Well defender Gallagher was unfortunate in the build up to Odsonne Edouard’s opener but he has been backed by his boss to shine with Scotland this week.

Robinson said: “I think Declan Gallagher showed that he is right in the mix.

“Steve will be well aware of that and may well have been at the game. He knows how well he has been doing.

“He has improved no end. He’s a very good footballer and he’s at the top of his game.”

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