MOTHERWELL manager Stephen Robinson has been trying to banish his side’s reputation for being the nice guys of Scottish football, so his may have been the only heart that sank rather than being uplifted by the actions of Charles Dunne this week.

The big defender made headlines as he drove around the town offering lifts to strangers who were walking home through the snow in the bitter cold.

But Robinson was keen to stress that while he has made a conscious effort to bring the right sort of people to the club for their personalities away from the pitch, their charity ends when they cross that white line.

“That kind of thing epitomises Charles,” said Robinson. “He is a super boy with a great attitude.

“He is the first to put his arms round new players who sign for the club and take them round and show them the sights. He has a good heart.

“That typifies the kind of players and characters that we try and bring to the club. Off the pitch they are genuinely nice boys. On the pitch they make mistakes and they have faults, but it is never through the want of trying. The players want to be the best they possibly can with the ability that they have.

“And we have got a little bit of a reputation as being a hard side to play against. That’s what we want. We are competitive.

“If you have that then you have got a chance. You won’t win every week and you will play poorly on occasions, but you will never give less than 100 per cent.

“When I came here we were a team that everybody liked to come and play. The opposition got a nice cup of tea and referees were treated well and we would get a pat on the back whilst teams came and beat us, and said ‘well done’ to us as they left.

“We didn’t want to create that. We upset the bigger sides by the way we play by what they say in the press, and that is what we wanted to do.

“We wanted to create a reputation for ourselves and build on that and get better at what we do.”

Robinson would dearly love to get back to Hampden again after Motherwell’s march to the League Cup final earlier this season, but he knows they have an almighty battle on their hands against Hearts in tomorrow’s quarter-final at Fir Park if they are to emulate that feat in the Scottish Cup.

“It is a great incentive to get to Hampden again,” he said.

“We will definitely get in Hearts’ faces, and if we play with the intensity that I know we can, then I will be confident.

“We beat Hearts at home and scored a last minute equaliser to draw 1-1 at Tynecastle, but that was no more than we deserved that day. There is not a lot between the sides.

“They are a robust team with a lot of experienced players at the back and they are doing well in the league.

“This will be a tough game for us. If we can produce what we are capable of then we will have a great chance.”

The man who got that last-minute equaliser at Tynecastle meanwhile, Curtis Main, has been doing a good job of filling Louis Moult’s boots since his arrival from Portsmouth in January, and now he is desperate to show that he has similar big-game credentials to the former Motherwell hero as well.

“Everybody wants to perform well in every game but especially big games,” said Main. “It raises your profile if you’re doing well and getting a lot of exposure, which is what he was able to do.

“It’s something I will try to do. Sunday is a massive game so hopefully I can do that.

“It was a tough game at their place. I think we deserved something out of the game. You saw the reaction of the boys. When you score in the last minute, even if it’s a draw, it can feel like a win. Everybody was really buzzing to get that goal there because we felt that we deserved at least a point.

“We definitely believe we can beat them on Sunday.”