THE draw against Celtic at the weekend may technically have been the 10th game in a row without victory for Motherwell, but it sure didn’t feel that way to their players or fans.

And as much as embattled manager Stuart Kettlewell tried to play it down, it must have been a relief to him too.

Kettlewell hasn’t been under huge pressure despite that poor run, with a good bit of credit in the bank for his overall performance since taking over at Fir Park in February, but there was a growing sense that things had to turn soon to avoid such a situation.

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Whether this proves to be that turning point for him and his team remains to be seen, but goalscorer Jon Obika was pleased to at least temporarily remove any question marks around his manager’s future, dedicating his late header to a man who he rates as being up there with the very best he has worked with throughout his career.

“The gaffer gives us everything we need,” Obika said.

“He’s one of the top gaffers I’ve worked for. There is no stone left unturned. So, when we’re not getting the results, we know that’s on us as players.

“I’m just pleased we were able to get that result by doing it for him and his staff who work so hard.

“It’s a pat on the back for us but also for them.”

It was a great moment for Obika himself too, of course, with the substitute pleased to have capped off a heroic effort from his teammates over a gruelling 100-plus minutes.

That togetherness they exhibited can only be a positive sign, in his view, as they look to now get back to winning ways and claw their way clear of the bottom of the table.

“It’s a moment that’s right up there in my career but the goal was more for the boys,” he said.

“I just went on for the last 20 minutes, it was the other players who put in an incredible shift.

“The gaffer set the team up to be compact and hurt them when we could. And I felt we showed a good togetherness.

“Even during the bad run we were going through we had that. But hopefully we can kick on from this.

“At the goal my job was to be in at their goalkeeper. I saw the ball come in and just tried to get any touch I possibly could on the ball. And thankfully my header went in.

“I had only been on the pitch a few minutes but we got the corner and thankfully scored from there.

“Celtic are a top side and when you come here you have to stick together or they’ll pick you apart. But this showed our union and unity amongst the boys.

“If we can come here and get a point, then who says we can’t do well?”

What was also encouraging for Obika was the refusal of the Motherwell players to throw in the towel, with Celtic taking until the 86th minute to break their resistance with their second penalty of the game.

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“Even if they are two penalties, we’re going to be a bit angry thinking why have we conceded two penalties away from home,” he said.

“But we didn’t let our heads drop and think ‘that’s it.’

“We still tried to get Celtic on the counterattack, albeit that’s difficult as they’re a tough side.”