Stephen Robinson believes a togetherness on and off the pitch has helped him improve Motherwell during his two years in charge.
The former Oldham boss spent his second anniversary since being appointed Well manager by preparing for a crucial Ladbrokes Premiership game which could see Motherwell leapfrog Hibernian into sixth place.
The 44-year-old led the team to two cup finals and a comfortable mid-table finish last term after evading relegation in his first few months in the role, and has overseen a transformation of style and results in recent months.
Robinson is the third longest-serving manager in the Ladbrokes Premiership and believes unanimous backing behind the scenes has been a huge help.
“It’s incredible and a sad indictment on modern-day football that you get no time to build anything,” he said.
“We have had a couple of spells here, after the first cup final when we had a run of really bad injuries and results but the board were very good and stuck by us. And the same this year again.
“The reality with our board compared to other boards is they know where we are, they know the restrictions we work under. At times fans don’t. The expectations have grown massively since I came to the club.”
Robinson – who lasted only six months at Oldham – insists he never gets complacent about his position.
“I can assure you I am always looking over my shoulder,” he said. “That’s just the nature of this job.
“I think what we have got is a very realistic board, a very supportive board, and what they have done for this football club has been fantastic.
“But there is a reality from money that can be brought in from fan ownership. It’s done really well but there is a limit to it and we know we can’t blow money and spend massive money on players.
“So you always have a fair idea of where you are, which helps, and what we are able to put into the football club. And we are always looking to try and make it better.
“With everyone together, I think that’s the difference with the club, the board really want me to succeed. And there’s a lot of people representing the fans on there as well. Everyone wants you to succeed and surprisingly that’s not always the case at football clubs.”
Right-back Liam Grimshaw is also celebrating longevity at Fir Park after signing a new one-year deal to extend his second stay in a club where he feels at home.
Grimshaw said: “It probably reminds me of home really. I grew up in Burnley, followed Burnley all my life, and they are two similar towns. Both clubs that are a big part of their community.
“People are down to earth, really good people, and I think that’s probably why I took to it. I love it here.”
Grimshaw has played throughout Motherwell’s upturn in form, which has seen them win seven out of nine Premiership games to move to the verge of the top six.
The former Preston player said: “It probably helps that no-one expected us to go on the run we have been on.
“There has been no real pressure on it, we have just been going into every game with confidence and looking to just attack. That has probably helped, and I can’t wait for Saturday.”
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