Stuart Kettlewell: High standards can be key to Motherwell cup success

The Motherwell boss knows his team face a tough test at St Mirren.

Motherwell manager Stuart Kettlewell believes a focus from his players on maintaining the quality of their efforts will stand them in good stead against St Mirren.

The sides meet in Paisley on Saturday in the last 16 of the League Cup, with both sides keen to make a run deep into the competition.

Kettlewell knows that St Mirren will ask questions of his side, but thinks the best way to prepare is for the team to focus on their own game.

“I think what’s of greater importance is trying to maintain your standards and trying to win games of football,” said Kettlewell.

“I keep talking about this habit you are in and you don’t want to give that up for anything, whether that is the league campaign or whether it is a training day, you want to continually be in that mindset of having a feeling of confidence, really.

“But it is a different competition this weekend which will be incredibly difficult. It is such a hard draw to go away to St Mirren. It is two good teams in really good form.

“Their home record last season was exceptional, it was the very foundation of their success for large parts, as good as they were away from home as well.

“So we know how difficult it is going to be. So taking the competition aside it is just to try to maintain those standards for us.”

Kettlewell expressed his admiration for St Mirren boss Stephen Robinson, who guided Motherwell to two cup finals in his time at Fir Park. He guided his team to a win over the Paisley side in his first game in charge but said he had a sleepless night before the game, trying to decide on how to face a well-drilled side.

This time around, he’ll be planning for the game without striker Jon Obika, who has suffered a setback in his return from injury.

“We have been dealt a blow with Jon Obika, unfortunately,” the manager said. “He has a problem with his hamstring. John came on to the pitch on Sunday, it was great to have him come back in.

“Without giving away too much detail which I don’t have at this moment in time, it looks as if we could be missing Jon for a lengthier period of time than what we thought.

“That is a disappointment. I can update as and when I have the full extent of the injury.”

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