After just two goals in his first 20 appearances for Motherwell, Theo Bair was maybe the only one –save for manager Stuart Kettlewell - who wasn’t surprised by the three goals he plundered in the last two games before the winter break.

Bair, and it seems, Kettlewell too, have always had faith in his abilities, even if others – including many Motherwell fans – have not. Now he is determined to prove that his recent run of form is not a purple patch in an otherwise barren landscape, but the new norm.

Bair admits that it hasn’t always been easy as he has tried to make his way in the game in Scotland. The Canadian has suffered from loneliness away from the field, and has been acutely aware of the stick that has flowed from the terraces towards him during his run of goalless games.

READ MORE: Van Veen not 'realistic' after Motherwell dealt Biereth blow

After a trip home during the winter break though, he has returned to Lanarkshire riding the crest of a wave, and eager to carry his recent upturn in fortunes into today’s Scottish Cup tie against Alloa.

“I went home to Canada to see the family,” Bair said.

“It was colder there. It got to minus 14, which is still not the coldest it gets there. I’m sure my dad will call me and say it’s minus 24 or something – it’s like summer here!

“It was nice to get back. I hadn’t seen my girlfriend for about three months, and it was also nice to see my little cousin and the rest of the family.

“It’s great to get some quality time and it makes a big difference. I think that’s something people forget, on top of fighting every weekend, the vast majority of the time I am on my own.

“I have my teammates, of course, but I don’t have my family close by. I’m not complaining, this is the life I chose, and I enjoy it. But it’s a little more difficult not having them here. It’s a sacrifice but I still relish it and I am happy with the adventure I am on.

“I know I’ve got a lot of stick over the earlier games, due to the lack of goals. I don’t deny it, but I always felt I had it in me.

“I wouldn’t call [this] a purple patch, I’d say I’m performing to the level that I’d hope to perform to. I just hope to continue it.

“I wasn’t paying attention to [the criticism], but any striker knows if they are not scoring, they will get stick. Criticism is also there because people know you can do better.

“I have a lot of confidence in myself and I’m mentally strong. The mental side is probably 90 percent and I knew if I kept listening to the gaffer and trusting my teammates, it would eventually click.

“The gaffer has given me a lot of chances this season and I’m happy to repay him.

“At St Johnstone I don’t think I ever got the minutes so the fact the gaffer has backed me, even after a dry spell, means a lot to me.”

The role that Kettlewell has played in the development of his all-round game is a theme that Bair returns to.

“As a striker you have to do a lot more than just score now,” he said.

“You have to drop deep, link up play, you have to be able to turn and take a man on, especially in this league when defenders are trying to clatter into your back and clip your knees.

“Working with the gaffer and my teammates, I’ve got to develop a lot of that other stuff, which has led to me scoring goals.

“It’s not some miraculous occurrence, it’s a lot of video and work behind the scenes that helps it come together.”

Kettlewell himself – no stranger to pulling off a cup shock during his time as a player and manager at Ross County – has stressed to his men the importance of treating their League One opponents as seriously as they would any other at Fir Park this afternoon.

New signing Andy Halliday could make his debut after the veteran midfielder joined the club from Hearts yesterday.

“We have to be right mentally,” he said.

“I have seen so many of these games where people turn up with no energy or pace and think they are just better than the opposition. I can assure you nobody will turn up for us like that this weekend.

READ MORE: How do Motherwell fill Biereth void after loan heartbreak?

"I have been on the other side and I know what lower league teams look for. They will look at how they can rattle the bigger opposition and I will keep telling the players that.

"There are great memories for me but I look at this specific to Motherwell. We don't budget for the cup but we take every competition seriously.

"I won't chop and change, we will put out what we think is the best team. We have to always think this is an opportunity to win silverware and how many of them do you get in your career?

"I am not saying we are a favourite or anything, but any time you enter a cup you should see it as a chance to win silverware. That has to be the mindset in every round - not just the latter stages.

"It has to always be in the forefront of our mind, and it could be a great experience for players and fans along that journey."