Motherwell boss delighted by Michael Higdon brace

Motherwell manager Stuart McCall
McCall was delighted with his side's performance at Tannadice

Manager Stuart McCall was full of praise for Michael Higdon after the striker scored twice in a 3-1 victory at Dundee United.

Higdon had received criticism from fans last weekend and responded with a good showing at Tannadice.

"I thought big Michael was excellent for us. He led the line really well," McCall told BBC Radio Scotland.

"Centre forwards are sometimes easy targets - I remember Ally McCoist getting some stick when he started."

Keith Lasley fired Motherwell into an early lead, finishing off a slick passing move and Higdon pounced on a goalkeeping error from Dusan Pernis to give the visitors a 2-0 half-time lead.

Higdon claimed his second from the penalty spot, with Jon Daly bagging a consolation goal for United.

"Confidence is a big thing in football and certain things don't go right in certain games," added McCall.

"I thought Michael was going to spoil it by stepping up to take the penalty. I thought it would be just typical, the way things have been going for him recently, to miss but he slotted it away nicely.

"We all know how hard Michael works in training and he was terrific for us."

The win takes Motherwell up to second spot in the Scottish Premier League, although they will drop back a place if Celtic take something from Sunday's visit to Hearts.

"We're miles above our target and we've got to be careful we don't get carried away," explained McCall.

"First and foremost, our target is to be in the top six.

"Outside the Old Firm and possibly Hearts, who have a big squad, and Jim McIntyre at Dunfermline who is probably looking for consolidation, every other manager believes they can be in the top half.

"And that's quite right. There are a lot of good and evenly balanced teams.

"To have the number of points we have is great. The lads have been fantastic but we've got to keep it going."

Reflecting on the win at Tannadice, McCall added: "I thought it was an outstanding performance.

"You know you'll get a tough game here and first and foremost you've got to give everything and work hard.

"The midfield battle was crucial and I thought our three in there were excellent.

"The units in the team all worked their socks off and we defended really well. Overall, it was a thoroughly merited victory."