Motherwell manager Stephen Robinson is hoping to bring in the bells with the quiet satisfaction of a job well done in the first half of the season, but that will depend on how his men bounce back in their next three games.

The injury-ravaged Steelmen have lost their last four matches, as a fine start to the campaign that led them to the League Cup final threatens to fizzle out like a faulty New Year firework.

There have been mitigating circumstances though. All of those games were away from Fir Park, where they enjoy the best goals against record in the league.

Added to that, the physical toll of their march to Hampden has meant they have been without key personnel such as Trevor Carson, Peter Hartley, Chris Cadden and Louis Moult.

With the first three of those back in training though, Robinson hopes they can get back on track before they bid farewell to a hugely positive 2017 on the whole.

“Football turns around so quickly,” said Robinson. “Two weeks ago, we were sitting fourth or fifth and had just been beaten in a final.

“It’s only two weeks and four games later, so it’s certainly not a crisis, but we’ve got two games at home now and one away at Rangers which a fantastic game to play in and gives us a chance to get back into that top six.

“In hindsight, I should have changed six or seven players for the third Celtic game, but I actually thought we could go and win.

“That’s the only way I can ever go into games. We don’t have the privilege of Celtic to change so many players and still bring in internationalists, we don’t have that.

“That’s a lesson maybe I would look at in future, but we’ve had the boys out for two weeks and it’s taken its toll, but we’ll get them back and I’m sure we’ll start turning it around.

“To end the year on a positive is what we’re setting out to do now.”

One man who won’t be seen in claret and amber again ahead of his January move to Preston is striker Moult, but Robinson has already gone some way to replacing his star man.

“I’ll definitely bring in one striker to replace Louis, but what happens between now and January with the boys here will dictate things,” he said.

“Obviously, finances will dictate whether I can bring another striker in as well, and we’re actively speaking to four or five people and are quite far down the line.

“We know we can’t compete financially with people, so we are trying to do our business very early.

“We do need definitely one to replace Louis, that’s obvious, but I have real high hopes for George Newell.

“He’s been unlucky with injury and this will only be his fifth day training in elven weeks. But he’s a real talent, and he reminds me very much of Louis when he first came to the football club.”

The Motherwell boss will also be looking to push more of the club’s own talent through into the first-team, saying that the club wouldn’t dream of following Falkirk’s example of ditching their academy.

“Each club has their own way of doing things, and I wouldn’t judge anybody else,” he said.

“But the way we work here is that we try to push young players through and that’s our lifeblood as a football club.

“We’ve got Allan Campbell, Chris Cadden, even Stevie Hammell who came through a long time ago. “We’ve had Barry Maguire, Adam Livingstone and David Turnbull on the bench in recent weeks, so we think we have a good crop of young players.

“It’s all about when I throw them in and use them, you can’t put them in all at one time, but we do believe that the way forward is to develop our own young players.”