Motherwell legend James McFadden warned these are worrying times for the club after slumping to a second heavy home defeat in seven days.
The Steelmen were thumped 3-0 by Betfred Cup finalists St Johnstone at Fir Park, just a week after a 4-1 hammering against derby rivals Hamilton at home.
A Guy Melamed double – one from the spot – and Jason Kerr strike were enough to take the points back to Perth, and McFadden said there was a marked lack of leadership in the team today.
However, he did concede that missing Allan Campbell, Bevis Mugabi and suspended Stephen O’Donnell was a major factor.
Speaking on BBC Scotland’s Sportscene, McFadden said: “I think you expect so much more from Motherwell, but you have to give credit to St Johnstone.
“All the talk since they’ve got into the final has been ‘is it going to distract them’ but it isn’t, it’s fuelling them and they’re all fighting to get into the team for the final next week and Motherwell just couldn’t cope with it.
“It was such a poor, poor display, and something we’re not used to seeing.
“They’re missing a lot of players – I get that – but you can still go in and run, try to put pressure on and put tackles in, and they did not lay a glove on St Johnstone today.
“It’s worrying times, because that is so unlike Motherwell.”
An incredible statistic emerged that showed Motherwell had only five touches inside the St Johnstone penalty box in the whole game, and only one of those was in the first half.
Similarly, Liam Polworth’s drive from distance that forced a decent save from Zander Clark was their only shot on target, to Saints’ seven.
The visitors had nine shots off-target and six blocked, but Motherwell had none of either.
McFadden said: “It’s so unlike them, they have three good strikers who have done well.
“You have to say, it’s not every week that they’re not playing well, but when you look at their total touches inside the box, Devante Cole is more or less outside the box, Jordan Roberts who came on as a sub two, and Ricki Lamie the centre-back with two touches.
“It’s not good enough.”
McFadden said the loss of form hasn’t been down to new boss Graham Alexander introducing new ideas, but said they can bounce back once injured, ill and suspended stars return.
He said: “The impact he [Alexander] had when he came in at first was excellent. He had good performances, good results.
“Last week against Hamilton, although you never want to lose to your rivals, you want to try and write it off and move on, and today, to kind of defend him, when you’re missing Allan Campbell, Bevis Mugabi, Stephen O’Donnell from that, you’re going to suffer.
“It is worrying, but it’s not that there’s no way back, once you get these players back into the side.
“There were no leaders in the Motherwell team today though, that was the big problem for me.”