GRAHAM ALEXANDER has been appointed as the new manager of Motherwell, and has immediately set his sights on pulling the club clear of the relegation zone.

The former Scotland international succeeds Stephen Robinson, edging out club legend Keith Lasley, former St Johnstone boss Tommy Wright and Simon Grayson after interviews were held this week.

Lasley will remain on the club's coaching staff, but Alexander will also bring in his long-term assistant Chris Lucketti.

Alexander, who previously managed Fleetwood Town, Scunthorpe United and most recently, Salford City, says that this current Motherwell squad should be nowhere near the bottom of the Premiership table given the talent at their disposal. And he revealed that he had sounded out former Steelmen boss Robinson, a former teammate of his, for advice before taking on the position.

“I am delighted to have been handed this role at a great club,” Alexander said.

“People will get to understand the hard work I put in, along with my staff and players. I have always brought that to every club, as a player and a manager.

“It’s something different. It is something I am really excited about. I have been a manager now for seven to eight years, and had success with the three clubs I’ve been at. But this is out of my comfort zone. I’m someone who is up for a challenge, and I will get that here.

"I think there is a misconception about what Scottish football is. I know what it is having played for Scotland, and I have a lot of friends who are wither still playing or managing in Scotland, so I know the standard is very good.

"I want to test myself against these managers, these clubs, and go to different grounds that I've not played at or managed at. There's a lot of quality in Scotland both on the playing side and the management side of it. I'm looking forward to seeing what quality we can produce as a club.

“I spoke to Stephen Robinson, as we played together at Preston. He said nothing but good things. That together with what I heard from the board meant it was a challenge I wanted to take on.

“The obvious first objective is to win on Saturday. This is a team which is underperforming but there is talent there. We are in a month where we can also make additions, but there is no way I believe this current group should be where they are.

“I believe in producing young talent and I’ve always given chances. The board have made clear what they see as success for Motherwell, and I want to exceed those expectations.

“I’ve seen if you work hard enough, you can achieve whatever you want. But the work has to go in. And that not only comes from me, it comes from the whole group. My role is a manager is to get that working straight away.”

Motherwell chairman Jim McMahon was delighted to get his man, saying that Alexander has all the attributes required to take the club forward.

“We are delighted to have chosen Graham to be our next manager,” McMahon said.

“The calibre of candidates for the role was high, as were the qualities shown by those we interviewed.

“Graham has demonstrated to us he is the man to take us forward. He fits the profile of what we expect a Motherwell manager to be.

“He is dynamic. He is hungry. He will lead from the front and shares in our belief of developing talent. He also has a track record of success, leading clubs to promotions and cup finals.”