Stuart Kettlewell: Motherwell will travel to face Rangers without fear

The Motherwell boss says his side can take heart from previous performances.

Stuart Kettlewell: Motherwell will travel to face Rangers without fear SNS Group

Motherwell manager Stuart Kettlewell has been impressed by Rangers’ recent form but says his team will travel to Ibrox without fear.

Rangers sit two points clear at the top of the league as they welcome eighth-placed Motherwell on Saturday afternoon and Philippe Clement’s side have racked up ten consecutive wins.

Despite that formidable record, which included a 5-0 demolition of third-placed Hearts last weekend, Kettlewell says there’s no real trepidation as he prepares his team for the game.

The Motherwell boss has pointed to previous performances against the Ibrox side as proof that they can compete if they are on their game.

“Everything that’s happened since I’ve been at the football club would suggest that we don’t go into our shell and there is no fear,” Kettlewell said. “We’ve general had a good organisation when we know we’re going into tough games.

“That’s not to say that Rangers don’t get a lot of the ball or a lot of crosses into our box and have opportunities, because we’ve had to ride out those moments as well.

“But I don’t sit here alluding to a horrendous showing or a lack of confidence or belief going to the big venues or playing against the top sides in the country. I don’t have that feeling because I don’t really have too much evidence to suggest that.

“We’ve been really competitive in these types of games.

“Last time we went to Rangers, and I spoke about it at the time, the goalkeeper gets booked for timewasting and things like that so that shows you the level of performance that day.”

That last visit, a 1-0 defeat in September, was while Rangers were under Michael Beale’s management. Kettlewell acknowledged the impact Clement has made since taking over and said he was impressed by what he saw when taking in the victory over Hearts last week.

“I do genuinely think that Rangers are a completely different side now,” he said. “I was at Ibrox last Saturday and I thought they were outstanding.

“They look great and they are obviously very, very confident at this moment in time. They’ve got some decent changes and rotation in their squad that they are utilising.

“Quite clearly the manager has had a fantastic impact. Rangers were written off months ago and it was almost a procession for Celtic towards the league title, was the story that was written at the time. But that’s been turned on its head and watching them play against a strong Hearts side that’s been on such a good run of form, they were good.

“If we face them and they hit us in that type of form and they get off to that type of start then it’s going to be a really difficult game.”

While Rangers form has been strong, Motherwell have lost three of their last five games. Kettlewell wants to focus on the 3-1 win over Livingston in midweek though, and see more of the attacking football that delivered three points in that game.

“We have to try and come up with a plan and make it difficult for them but also carry that threat that we’ve had on the front foot,” he said.

“Our three goals the other night were top drawer. Everyone alludes to Blair Spittal’s finish but if you look at the football played in the lead-up to the goals, it’s excellent football. You don’t see them every week.

“I’ll take scrappy goals as well but it really does please me when you see that kind of football going towards th opposition goal.

“Even though it’s Ibrox and against a team that’s going well, I still think we can have those moments in the game.”

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