STEPHEN Robinson was the outstanding candidate to become Motherwell’s next manager according to the club who confirmed his appointment last night.

The 42-year-old former Northern Irish international was brought back to Fir Park in January by Mark McGhee having previously been assistant to Ian Baraclough.

Following McGhee’s departure two weeks ago, Robinson took temporary charge for two matches and did enough in that time for him to be offered a contract until May 2018.

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Robinson said: “I am absolutely delighted and proud to lead this football club, a club with a rich history in the Scottish game. It’s a great place to be with great people with a support that deserve success.

“My mission from the board is absolutely clear. Firstly, to ensure the team have a strong finish to the SPFL Premiership season and finish as high as we possibly can between now and May. Then, to help shape the club going forward with a strong emphasis on hard-work, discipline and a real passion and desire for Motherwell that the fans can get behind and be proud of.”

Motherwell is a club in need of a clear-out.

The playing squad needs a re-haul, more players from the youth team, current Scottish Cup champions and semi-finalists this year, have to be given their chance and maybe it’s time to get rid of some of the old guard, as difficult as that will be given they are good guys and wonderful servants.

This season they have looked a tired team full of familiar players making familiar mistakes. They should be better than this. McGhee has to take a lot of responsibility for the fact the Lanarkshire team sit three points above second bottom Hamilton.

For their supporters, this has been a wretched season, which seemed to end when they should have beaten Rangers in the Scottish Cup but failed to see out the game and were done by two late Kenny Miller goals.

McGhee’s mojo seemed to go that day, as did many of of the players. Then came the 7-2 defeat at Pittodrie when McGhee lost the support and his temper at the fourth official.

Then his team were 5-1 down to Dundee at home at half-time. The protestors outside afterwards might have been of school age but their message for the manager to go was listened to.

On the face of it, Robinson doesn’t have a lot to work with and yet in only two games the team have looked more organised and some spirit has been rediscovered.

A 2-1 win at Rugby Park was a result few saw coming and while they again tasted defeat at Pittodrie last Saturday, this time a last-minute goal did for them. At least it’s a start.