AFTER a year of working alongside Motherwell manager Stephen Robinson, first as his captain and then as his assistant manager, Keith Lasley has picked up one or two more grey hairs in his increasingly silver mane, a wealth of knowledge, and an ambition to one day be standing in his boss's shoes.

Lasley had prepared tirelessly for over 10 years to gain the necessary coaching qualifications for when an opportunity presented itself, and he has taken to his role on the Motherwell backroom staff like a duck to water as a result.

He swears he has learned more from working at close quarters with Robinson about what it takes to be the figurehead of a club than he did in all those years in the classroom, but far from the demands of the role putting him off, it has made him eager to one day be the main man in the dugout.

And in good time, of course, where better than at Fir Park?

“I do have aspirations to be a manager myself one day, but certainly not at this moment,” Lasley said. “It’s something that I hope is down the line for me though.

“The manager has been great for me. When he came in I was still playing, and it was a difficult situation in the summer. I still had a playing contract, but the manager saw something in me that he wanted me to work alongside him which was great, and I was very grateful for the opportunity.

“It’s something I’m really passionate about, and it’s something I’d always wanted to do, particularly at this football club.

“One thing I have realised after doing all my badges and getting all of my qualifications over the last 10 years is that you think you maybe know quite a lot about what it takes, but until you’re in amongst it and you’re into that week-to-week cycle of games, reacting to victories and losses, that is the biggest learning curve.

“If I can give my best in this role and continue to learn, then hopefully I’ll get better and in turn, help the manager more.

“Management is ultimately where I want to get to, but I’m not in a rush. I’m learning so much from the current manager every day, so I want to keep giving my best and keep learning.”

The postponement of last night’s scheduled match against Aberdeen allowed Lasley a pause for reflection on the anniversary of Robinson's appointment, and he has nothing but praise for the job that the Northern Irishman has done since taking over the Fir Park helm.

He feels proud to now be a part of the management team that is allowing the Motherwell supporters to dream of cup glory and top-half finishes once again, rather than an annual slog against relegation.

“First and foremost, when he came in, the job was to keep us in the division and we managed to do that, which was an achievement in itself,” he said.

“The summer was then massive in terms of recruitment. We managed to get rid of a few oldies like myself and there was a lot of comings and goings.

“The manager’s organisation is really good, the way we prepare for games is second to none in terms of analysis, so there are so many good aspects to what he is doing.

“When you see his stats, it makes for really good reading. Historically, when you look back at other successful Motherwell managers, he stacks up well with the best of them.

“It’s been great, and now being part of that set-up, we just want to keep it going in a positive direction.

“We still feel as if there is a very exciting end of the season to be had for us, and the manager is really pushing for that to happen.”