STEPHEN ROBINSON admits Motherwell paid the penalty for more spot-kick woes as Rangers cruised to a 5-1 victory at Fir Park.

James Tavernier converted twice from 12 yards – either side of a strike from Jordan Jones – to put Steven Gerrard’s side three goals ahead at the break.

Those penalties – given for handball against Bevis Mugabi and Liam Grimshaw – were the seventh and eighth that Motherwell have conceded this season.

A late own goal from George Edmundson was no consolation for the Steelmen as Cedric Itten grabbed a brace off the bench.

And boss Robinson was frustrated with a lacklustre showing on the back of their Europa League defeat in Israel on Thursday night.

He said: “To put it simply, we probably got what we deserved. Rangers were the better side. They didn’t have to work very hard for it, to be honest. When we went 1-0 down, we were beat already.

“We looked completely jaded, we looked extremely tired - both mentally and physically. We half-pressed them at times and if you half-press a team as good as Rangers, they pick you off.

“The penalty early on kills us. I think that’s eight penalties we have conceded now, so it’s a statistic which doesn’t read very well.

“We have to deal with it, we got what we deserved today. I can’t dwell on it. There are a lot of aspects of the game, just with a couple of days off we can get back to our energetic level of performance that we gave against Aberdeen.

“The penalties are a concern. We have conceded them in Europe, which you can half understand with the lack of experience when you just touch someone they go down.

“But handball penalties - I think that’s three or four now. The rule itself is very difficult for the referees so I’m not going to criticise them.

“People are making changes to our game who have probably never kicked a ball in their lives.

“It makes life difficult but let me reiterate, we didn’t lose the game because of the penalties. We lost the game because we weren’t at the races. We were jaded, we were tired and we didn’t perform.”