This is an excerpt from this week's Claret and Amber Alert, a free Motherwell newsletter written by Graeme McGarry that goes out every Thursday at 6pm. To sign up, click here.

Pride cometh before the fall, right enough. From Scottish Cup fever last week to just feeling sick. Yes, supporting Motherwell has a knack of bringing you crashing back down to earth if you threaten to get a little carried away with yourself.

In hindsight, my bold prediction from last week that the ‘Well could be staring at a Scottish Cup quarter final and a place in the Premiership’s top six by the time I sat down to write this week’s newsletter may have been a tad hasty.

Just as my text to an Aberdeen-supporting colleague on Wednesday evening around 8.15pm cordially inviting him to ‘get it round’ himself may also have been. In the words of the late, great Jim Diamond, I should have known better.

First, let’s deal with Cappielow. Sorry, but we must. What a truly miserable evening.

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We’ve all seen the movie before. Large travelling Motherwell support, growing expectation on the back of some good displays, a honking performance and a demoralising defeat. No matter how many times you go through it, it doesn’t get any easier.

It was a catastrophic loss in many ways, not least of all financially, with the club devastated I’m sure to have watched the money that was on offer for seeing off a team from a lower league slip through their fingers.

Less tangible perhaps but no less important, it was another damaging blow to the bond between the supporters and this team, which can be described as fraying at best. That really could have been a night to bring them together, but alas, the end brought only angry protest and the rage-inducing sight of Dougie Imrie cupping his ears in front of the ‘Well fans.

Fair play to Imrie and his team, they deserved their win, and he deserved his moment. And he is right that having dished out some rather unpleasant songs about the former Hamilton Accies man, the Motherwell supporters simply had to suck it up.

It had to be hoped that the ‘Well players saw what they had subjected their fans to, and that they would use it as fuel to put things right. It’s no fun when your club is the nation’s punchline, after all, and for a glorious half hour at Pittodrie it looked as though the banter baton would be passed to Aberdeen.

Ok, we were helped by Neil Warnock having something of a senior moment when he named a team without any centre-backs, but Motherwell were excellent in those heady opening exchanges, and full value for their three-goal lead.

Staying with the positives, the transformation in Theo Bair continues to amaze, and Stuart Kettlewell and his coaching team have to be congratulated on what they have moulded from what looked like a largely inanimate blob of muscle when the big man was at St Johnstone.

His penalty was tucked away with aplomb, and his movement for his second goal was brilliant. Had it been Kyogo Furuhashi or Cyriel Dessers who had peeled off a defender like that to get on the end of the cross from the hugely impressive Georgie Gent, it would be garnering far greater attention.

When Adam Devine popped up with a third, I nearly fell out my seat. But this time, that nagging voice of experience told me to settle down. And as usual, it was right.

READ MORE: Dougie Imrie insists Motherwell fans must take what they dish out

The concession of the first goal immediately after Warnock came to his senses was a killer, completely turning the momentum of the game and the mood inside the stadium. And it is a worry that almost no one was surprised when a second quickly followed, and a third too after the break, where again, the defending had to be much stronger.

There is no faith, it seems, in this Motherwell backline. Or indeed, in Motherwell’s backbone.

Naturally, given the way they were bullied by Morton and then capitulated from a position of strength against Aberdeen, questions are being raised about the lack of leadership within the ranks.

The manager this week mounted a defence of goalkeeper Liam Kelly, who was badly at fault for at least one of the goals at Cappielow and who was consistently described as a ‘bag of nerves’ by RED TV commentary duo Rob MacLean and Stevie Tosh on Wednesday evening.

Opponents can sense a weakness there given his poor form of late, and it might have been one of the only occasions I agreed with the nakedly partisan pair on the night. At one point, Tosh remarked: “Ach, that’s just drawing lines for me,” when referring to, erm, the drawing of lines to prove Dons striker Bojan Miovski was offside. That is rather the point, Stevie.

Motherwell’s defending came closer to provoking a foot through the telly over the piece though, and it is fair to question Kelly’s role in the concession of goals recently.

Kelly is a good guy and a great presence around the club. He leads by example in the way he conducts himself every day. But there appears to be a lack of leadership in outfield positions, with things only really turning mildly for the better at Cappielow for instance when Andy Halliday came on and grabbed the game by the scruff of the neck.

It is curious that the defensive solidity Kettlewell’s success was built upon last season has evaporated, while Motherwell are now the third top scorers in the league. If they could keep weans out a close, as my old man would say, they would be challenging for the Europa League spot.

But they can’t, and they’re not.

With games against the top three to come in the next four as well as a visit to Livingston, it is imperative they tighten up, or all of the good attacking work may count for nothing.