Motherwell owner Les Hutchison believes some of the club’s players should “hang their heads in shame” following the departure of manager Ian Baraclough.

The Fir Park

club parted company with Baraclough, 44, on Wednesday

with the Steelmen third bottom of the Scottish Premiership and out of the League Cup.

Hutchison believes Motherwell have “a wealth of talent” in their squad.

“We just need more of the players playing better more of the time,” he told BBC Radio Scotland’s Sportsound.

“We have been extremely disappointed with the series of results over the last weeks and, of course, at some point one has to bring it to a conclusion.

“Despite me being oversees, I obviously see video footage of all the games, read reports on all the games and have discussions with the general manager, Alan Burrows, and of course frequent communication with Ian.

Motherwell player Kieran Kennedy

Motherwell have only won three matches in all competitions this season

“It’s an extremely sad day for Motherwell Football Club. Motherwell has never been a club that has hired and fired people, that’s just not the way things are done.

“Ian has a wife and family and he’s going home to them now.

“I don’t think it diminishes Ian’s position because, clearly, he got us through the play-offs extremely successfully and the club will forever be indebted to him for that.”

Hutchison described the situation Baraclough inherited in December as a “pretty sorry affair” and was grateful that the Englishman had secured Premiership safety via last season’s play-offs with a 6-1 aggregate win over Rangers.

“In the space of a few months, I think it was a significant achievement that Ian managed,” Hutchison said. “He was given as long as he was because of that.

“There was clear evidence over a number of weeks that there were certain members of the playing squad, who quite frankly were just not performing to their best and what we’ve seen in the past.

Motherwell under Baraclough

Ian Baraclough was in charge of the Steelmen for 34 matches

They won 12, drew 5 and lost 17

The Fir Park side finished second bottom of the Premiership last season

They retained their top-flight status by beating Rangers 6-1 on aggregate in the play-off final

This term, Motherwell have won two games in the league

Defeat by Greenock Morton ended their interest in the League Cup

“Something has to change. After several discussions with Ian, ultimately we decided that the best thing to do was to ask him to move on and thanked him very much for his efforts on behalf of the club.

“But we do need a fresh situation in the dressing room, to change the mood, to change the climate and really get some of these players to play to their potential.

“Speaking to the senior players in the group, speaking to the coaching staff, I think they themselves are confident there’s enough people in the dressing room to get the job done.

“Unfortunately, there’s a few that really need to hang their head in shame today that a fine a young man has gone down the road to see his wife and family.

“I think it’s shocking but they have to stand up now and the older players will help them do that.”

Captain Keith Lasley admitted the squad “should look at ourselves in the mirror”.

Keith Lasley and Kris Boyd

Lasye (left) says Motherwell’s players have to “stand up and be counted”

“We understand it’s a results-led business but it’s never nice when it happens,” he added on Sportsound. “But, it’s up to us now as players to stand up and be counted. That starts on Saturday against Partick Thistle.

“There have been some words back and forward. We are where we are. The reality is we’re not performing to the way we know we’re capable of.

“Unfortunately, the manager’s now lost his job over that but it’s us that go out on the park, it’s that XI or whoever gets selected to go out on the park that has to do the business.

“No matter who the manager is, it’s a poor reflection on us as a group of players.

“We’ve got to look forward now. We still feel confident we’ve got the ability in there, it’s just we’ve got to drag it out ourselves and drag it out each other because it’s not been good enough.”