Keith Lasley will lead Motherwell into the Lanarkshire derby on Saturday but the parting shot of Stephen Robinson could still be in the players’ minds.
Robinson challenged every player to examine whether they were doing enough following Wednesday’s 2-0 Scottish Premiership defeat by Kilmarnock.
The Northern Irishman claimed some players had their heads turned and believed they were better than they are.
“People have to look in the mirror and give more,” he added. “They have to find a way of winning football matches, and that’s from working hard. Really, really working hard and committing 100 per cent to things.”
Motherwell stated they would move “at pace” to replace Robinson but Lasley is expected to get the chance to prove his credentials in the coming games.
The 41-year-old first joined Motherwell in 1999 and returned in 2006 after a two-year spell in England.
The midfielder made 479 first-team appearances in all and captained the club before becoming Robinson’s assistant in the summer of 2017.
Robinson gave his number two a seal of approval in his resignation statement when he said he was sure Motherwell would have a strong finish to the season “with the brilliant coaching staff currently there”.
Lasley would have been a natural successor if Robinson had got the Northern Ireland job in the summer but Motherwell’s position near the foot of the table means there is little time for a new manager to bed in.
The Steelmen could go bottom if they lose at Hamilton on Saturday and they have only taken one point from their last three derby meetings.
But midfielder Allan Campbell appreciated the seriousness of the situation even before Robinson resigned.
Speaking immediately after Wednesday’s defeat by Killie, Campbell said: “I’ve played in a few derbies and it’s always the same. It’s always a scrap, always a fight.
“We need to be prepared for it, we need to stand up and be counted, and if we do it all together as a team then we can get a result.
“We need to put a performance in. We owe it to the fans and everyone watching.
“We need to get results and win games of football.”