GRAHAM ALEXANDER says that he wants to keep Allan Campbell and Stephen O’Donnell at Motherwell, but getting a win in today’s game against St Mirren is his top priority.

Alexander will take charge of his first game since being appointed as Stephen Robinson’s Fir Park successor as his team travel to Paisley this afternoon, having held his first training session with his new players yesterday.

His main concern during that session was using what little time he had with his men to get some of his ideas across to them, but he will soon turn his attention to the make-up of his squad, with Campbell and O’Donnell’s situations uppermost in his mind as their contracts near their end.

“Every manager wants to keep their best players, but I don’t know all the ins and outs of Allan’s contract, what he feels and believes, what is on the table for him going forward,” Alexander said.

“I have stayed away from that stuff when I spoke to the board because I want to get this game done, then we have a week until the next one and I can get into the bones of what we need and what we have in the squad now.

“I wanted to give the players my full focus and not have other issues. They all trained really well, I was so impressed.”

While Campbell has been attracting interest from English Championship side Millwall with his Motherwell deal due to expire in the summer, O’Donnell’s situation is even more pressing, with his contract expiring this month.

“I have had a little chat with him about the game tomorrow - something I think we need to tweak which will help him - and he was great,” Alexander said. “He agreed.

“Going forward I will have these more intimate conversations about people’s futures and what we want to bring to Motherwell.

“There’s always speculation about players especially when they are playing international football. It’s always going to be that going into December and January.

“But I want to focus in the St Mirren game and these boys didn’t show me anything to suggest they didn’t want to play. If I felt one wasn’t focused then he wouldn’t be in the team.”

Alexander spoke to his predecessor and former Preston teammate Robinson before taking on the position at Fir Park, and while he says he didn’t discuss individuals, he is aware that there are members of the squad currently performing way below their capabilities.

He says it is his job to get the best out of those players once more, and has offered all of them a clean slate upon his arrival at the club.

“I’m not one who comes in and gives this big Churchillian speech because it’s words and anyone can say words,” he said.

“But I think they’ll learn over the next few weeks how I behave and how I am as a person and they’ll know that it is like that. It’s about who helps the team win. That’s it.

“Naturally there will be players who’ve been playing week in week out and now their credit in the bank with the previous manager is back down to nought. And the ones who were in the red are on nought again because they’ve got a free go at it.

“I’ve spoken to people about the club as a whole – the scenario and the environment. But I haven’t actually spoken to people about actual individual players. I want to make my own mind up. I think it’s important.

“I got on with some managers and didn’t get on with others. But generally I was the same person. It’s only human nature to clash.

“So, for me it’s important that I come in with an open mind to these players and we’ll see how we go. I just want to win games and help these boys maximise their potential.

“Robbo said that they were a good group of players who weren’t maximising their potential.

“That for me is my first and biggest task.”