Motherwell: Stuart McCall pleased to break top-six hoodoo

Motherwell manager Stuart McCall was pleased to beat a team in the top half of the Premiership for the first time this season.

Lionel Ainsworth's second-half goal against Aberdeen at Pittodrie made it three wins on the trot for 'Well.

"What it does do is break a hoodoo," McCall told BBC Scotland. "We've not beaten a team in the top six. So that helps with that.

"What we are showing now is a little bit of steely determination."

Motherwell finished November and started December with losses to Albion Rovers in the Scottish Cup and Celtic in the league, but the Fir Park side now jump from fifth to second in the Premiership.

Everything you get here, you've got to work hard for, and the boys certainly did that today

Stuart McCall Motherwell manager

"The league table at this moment doesn't mean a lot," said McCall.

"We went to Ross County and showed character - not a great performance, but a nitty-gritty performance.

"Last week was probably as good as we've been against St Mirren and today we hung in and played well at times.

"Aberdeen were on the back of four consecutive victories so it's always a difficult place to come. They started on the front foot and we had to hang in there early on.

"To get a clean-sheet here and to win the game is a massive bonus. Everything you get here, you've got to work hard for, and the boys certainly did that today."

Ainsworth's second goal in as many games came on the break after Aberdeen's corner kick.

Estonian striker Henri Anier led a two-versus-one counter attack and fed Ainsworth so the Englishman could roll the ball into the net.

"The bench were shouting for Henri to pass it early," added McCall. "But I was pleased he kept it going because he can hit it with left or right and he waited long enough.

"A great square pass and a good counter-attack goal - Lionel's finished it well."