Motherwell manager Stephen Robinson is taking Rangers boss Pedro Caixinha’s comments about his side’s physicality as a compliment, even if he isn’t sure that’s how they were intended.

Ibrox boss Caixinha spoke this week about the “aggressive marking” and “punishments” dished out to Rangers striker Eduardo Herrera in the meeting between the sides last Sunday at Fir Park.

The Portuguese coach also singled out ‘Well striker Louis Moult for his use of his elbows, with the forward giving away a clumsy penalty for a foul on Rangers defender Fabio Cardoso.

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In a week where due credit, or the lack of it, has proven something of a discussion point, it was refreshing to hear Robinson take those comments in the best possible spirit, even if they may have irked him a little more than he was letting on.

"Why not? I'll take that as a compliment,” Robinson said.

"We are a big, strong side. I am not sure if it was aimed as a compliment, but I will take it as one.

"For large periods of the Rangers game we played some good football.

"We know how to earn the right to play and we are big and physical and strong and we have got players who can play as well.”

One man who has not been reluctant to criticise the way people speak about his team is the man who will occupy the opposite dugout to Robinson today, St Johnstone boss Tommy Wright.

The two bosses go way back to their playing days with Northern Ireland, and Robinson says he would love to be in the position that his old friend’s team have managed in the last few years.

"I would love to finish in the top four with Motherwell every season in the Premiership and get no credit for it,” he said.

"St Johnstone are a good side and you don't finish in that position consistently if you are not.

"I don't think many people would question the fact that St Johnstone are a decent team.

"I played with Tommy for Northern Ireland. Tommy was a big personality and character in the dressing room. He was extremely fit and probably the best runner around.

"What he has achieved at St Johnstone is tremendous. He always commanded respect from everybody as he had played at the top levels.

"He had that demeanour that people would always listen to what he had to say. It is no surprise to see Tommy be a success as a manager.”

Motherwell travel to McDiarmid Park in fine fettle after their battling midweek Betfred Cup triumph over Ross County, while the home side will be trying to make amends for a hugely disappointing defeat to Partick Thistle.

Robinson took in the game on Tuesday evening, and he isn’t fooled that his side won’t have to be firing on all cylinders if they are to travel back down the A9 again with another positive result in the bag.

"There wasn't a lot in the game and St Johnstone didn't play too well on the night,” he said.

"But Tommy will have team fired up for us and if we don't match that then we will be on the wrong end of the result.

"We are determined to do what we have done in the last two games and meet them head on and try and get all three points.

"Our spirits were up even after the Rangers game. The boys believe in what they are doing and there is a real inner feeling that we can go on and achieve something.

"We can't win every game but if the performance levels are there then you can't complain.

"We said after the Rangers game that the standard had been set in terms of work rate, energy and desire and that is the stuff that is free as that doesn't cost money or talent.

"We followed that up against Ross County with 10-men and that is the bare minimum because if we drop below that we won't win football matches.”