Kettlewell: Motherwell have to be 'at absolute best’ against Rangers

The Motherwell boss expects his side to be competitive.

Stuart Kettlewell: Motherwell ‘have to be at our absolute best’ against Rangers SNS Group

Motherwell manager Stuart Kettlewell is encouraged by previous displays against Glasgow’s big two as he seeks an unlikely victory against Rangers on Christmas Eve.

Motherwell have taken two points in three games against Celtic under Kettlewell and came within seconds of getting another draw.

They have yet to take a point off Rangers since the 39-year-old took charge but only lost to a deflected goal against Michael Beale’s side at Ibrox in September and created a number of chances, as well as seeing two major decisions go against them.

It is 21 years since Motherwell beat Rangers in a regular league game and Kettlewell’s side have not won in their last 14 cinch Premiership matches.

In contrast, Rangers are unbeaten in 15 games under Philippe Clement and have won their last six.

But Motherwell fans looking for some omens will note that that victory in 2002 came on Boxing Day after Motherwell had only won three league games in the season, the same number they sit on now.

Kettlewell said: “We are going to have to be at our absolute best on Sunday to take something out of the game.

“But the one thing that does breed confidence in myself and the players – albeit we face a different challenge because it’s a different manager now in charge of Rangers – we feel with the likes of Rangers and Celtic in my time that we have been very, very competitive. We feel as if we have acquitted ourselves really well.

“That doesn’t guarantee that we will do that again on Sunday. We are going o have to be everything we have been in the five or so games that we have had against Rangers and Celtic, that have got us pretty close.

“We have not won one of them, I have to stress that as well. But I tell you what, we have given them a few frights along the way and I think we have defended and we have been structured really well, along with creating chances, and we have scored a few goals in those games as well, which does give me positivity.

“Because I do separate those games from a lot of the other ones just in the very nature of that control of the ball and how that looks for us.

“That’s something I will remind the players of but I will also be reminding them that we have to try and meet those levels to be competitive. We don’t just turn up with the game plan and hope that’s going to work.”

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