Motherwell centre-half Ben Heneghan was determined to focus on the positives after his competitive debut for the Fir Park club ended in defeat to Rangers.

Despite the 2-0 reverse, Heneghan was heartened by the display put on by his new teammates, as Mark McGhee’s men were left to rue a series of golden opportunities that passed them by.

If they can maintain a similar level of performance, as well as sharpening up their finishing, then Heneghan is sure that a memorable season awaits.

“We had so many chances so I think that’s a positive to take after the last few pre-season games,” Heneghan said.

“If we can create that many chances in the rest of the games we’ll be happy with that.

“The disappointing thing obviously is that we haven’t taken them, and in the end two quality strikes have beaten us.

“We can take a lot of positives from the shape today though. Against Hibernian we were a bit off it, but we were more compact today and everyone was together, and with the chances we created we can take a lot of heart from the game.

“We just need to work a little on our sharpness, but that will come. I think we’ve got an exciting season ahead.

“I’m very confident we can get through, we’re a good side with height, strength, pace and great technical players, so there’s no reason we can’t beat anyone we come up against.”

Despite the loss on Saturday, Heneghan enjoyed his first taste of competitive football north of the border after arriving at Fir Park in the summer from Chester.

“I loved it,” he said. “Obviously the tempo was quicker than what I’ve been used to, especially against a team like Rangers.

“It is a very big learning curve and a big step up for me. I’m just happy that the manager chose me to play, and I hope I showed what I can do.

“I’ve settled in quickly because there’s a great set of lads here who are always positive and always want the best for each other. That’s massive in the changing room.

“It’s great to have big Mick in beside me as well with all the experience he has, and that really helped me through.

“With the more games I get under my belt the more relaxed and comfortable I’ll become, so I’m looking forward to the challenge.

“It was massive for me to be playing today and I thank the manager for that, and hopefully we can keep grinding away on the training field, working on all aspects of our game and push on.

“It was a massive atmosphere and one of the bigger crowds I’d played in front of. Big games like this are a huge attraction to come up here, and I’ll be looking to make the most of my chance here.”

Heneghan was satisfied with a solid showing on his competitive bow for the Steelmen, but he knows that with competition from Kieran Kennedy and Louis Laing for the central defensive slot alongside first-pick Stephen McManus, he can’t afford to rest on his laurels.

“I would never think I was guaranteed a start here,” he said. “There is great competition for places at centre-half and it makes you think that you have to limit your mistakes, because just one and you could be out.”