THE anniversary could be marked with a hint of relief but there is more than a sense of satisfaction for Stephen Robinson.

He has crammed plenty of key moments into his first twelve months at the Fir Park helm. If he has his way, there could be many more good times to come for Motherwell.

His win rate is the third highest of anyone that has sat in the Manager’s Office, while his side have the best defensive record since Alex McLeish’s tenure and score more goals per game than any boss that followed Davie Hay at the helm.

After an all-too brief stint in England at Oldham Athletic, Robinson can look back with price and forward with optimism in Lanarkshire.

“You are thrilled to survive a year in management! In this day in age, there is not a lot of time,” he said.

“Management is a tough job, there are challenges every day and with the budget we are working with and size of club we are, you are fighting battles constantly every day.

“But we have got good people, good staff and a good bunch of players and a board of directors that do their very best, within their means, to back what we want to do to take the club forward.”

Robinson is eager to build for a brighter future at Motherwell but that is only possible because of the achievement he ranks as his most important at the club.

The threat of relegation doesn’t hang over Fir Park ahead of the visit of Aberdeen this evening. That wasn't always the case, though.

“I think, I said previously, it is survival and staying up,” Robinson said when asked about his most important moment.

“The pressure you carry around with you, when you know there are going to be 25 jobs lost outside of the football staff…

“You are carrying people that rely on this money to pay their bills and mortgages and the fans. You don’t want to be the manager that takes the club down so there is huge pressure.

“The boys coped with that and handled it. The top six and the cup finals, they are a bonus.

“Staying in this division is what you are judged on and the highlight for me is staying up and keeping the club alive.

“Again, we have to stay in this division. That is what I am judged on, my budget dictates that we should stay in this division. Anything else is a bonus. I have aspirations way beyond that.

“I think we are a good bunch of players, I think we can be better and there are certain areas of the pitch I want to improve and aspects of our play I want to keep improving. Then we can challenge for that top six spot.”

The approach that Robinson has employed may have attracted criticism in some quarters but it can’t be argued that it hasn’t been successful as he has transformed Motherwell’s fortunes.

A Scottish Cup quarter-final clash with Hearts follows the meeting with Derek McInnes’ side and the Steelmen have the chance to celebrate their manager’s anniversary in the perfect way.

Robinson said: “We started the week and said it was a huge week. At Dundee, we got the three points and didn’t play particularly well, make no mistake about that.

“But Killie came here last week and didn’t play particularly well but they got classed as well organised and well drilled.

“We didn’t play particularly well and we just didn’t play well. We are well drilled and organised and if you do that you win football matches.

“We have done the first part of the three games and now we have a tough game against Aberdeen to keep the top six ambitions alive and push us away from the bottom two. Sunday is a bonus and we have got nothing to fear.”