Motherwell 3-1 Kilmarnock: Team 'magnificent' - Ian Baraclough

Motherwell's Lionel Ainsworth celebrates having put his side 3-1 ahead
Motherwell's Lionel Ainsworth (right) celebrates having put his side 3-1 ahead

Motherwell manager Ian Baraclough hailed his "magnificent" players after they gave themselves a survival lifeline with a 3-1 win over Kilmarnock.

Scott McDonald and Lee Erwin both scored, with Lionel Ainsworth adding a late third after Josh Magennis had pulled one back for the visitors.

The result relegated St Mirren, and hauls Motherwell to within three points of Killie and Ross County, though the Staggies have played one game fewer.

"At 2-0 it's never an easy situation, but I felt we dealt again with that knock (a goal for Kilmarnock) to pick ourselves up again, reorganise, and ensure that we didn't give anything else away," Baraclough told BBC Scotland.

"When required, George Long was massive in goals for us. The back four, George and the two guys in front of them set the tone for us.

"I'm a big believer. We've got players in there who can go and get the two wins required and strange things happen to people at these times. People lose their heads, do silly things, make mistakes, it gets edgy.

"We win games and that puts pressure on other people."

'Well's victory signals an end to St Mirren's nine-year stay in the top flight. The Buddies face Ross County in Dingwall on Saturday.

Kilmarnock manager Gary Locke said his team did not have time to feel sorry for themselves, with just two games remaining, away to Partick Thistle and at home to Ross County.

He said: "We knew what was at stake, and we know coming here if we got the victory we'd take ourselves out of trouble.

"With the result going the way it has done we're firmly in the mix. It's important we respond.

"At the end they caught us with a sucker punch. Next Saturday we have a tough game against Partick Thistle, but it's still in our hands.

"It's a poor run of results, that's what has put us in trouble. We can't afford to give the goals away that we're doing at the moment.

"When you're in this position you need big characters on the pitch, that's why we went with a bit of experience tonight because I thought these lads would handle it better.

"I believe in the players but we've got to respond."