Motherwell have got fighting chance of success against Celtic, reckons boss

Motherwell manager Graham Alexander praised his team for “fighting like dogs” to beat Dundee United midweek and he’s hoping for more of the same against Celtic tomorrow, February 6.

Motherwell manager Graham Alexander. (Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images)

The Old Firm side have been having a troubled season by their standards, falling 23 points behind table-toppers Rangers’ haul of 75, albeit with two games in hand, but that tally of 52 points is still 27 more than Motherwell and Alexander is keen to point out that their hosts’ patchy form is only poor in comparison to the one side above them and not to the 10 below.

So far in 2021, Neil Lennon's team have drawn three games, lost two and won two – a record comparable to ’Well’s two draws, two defeats and two victories this year, including back-to-back 2-1 wins against Ross County last week and Dundee this week.

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“Celtic and Rangers are obviously the top dogs in Scotland,” said Alexander.

"It’s going to be a tough game – we know that.

“I know there is a lot of talk about Celtic's season, but there are a lot of clubs underneath who wouldn't mind Celtic's season so far, so that's the reality.

“They are still a fantastic team with a really experienced manager and who have got quality throughout, but I want to concentrate on what we can bring to the game, and that's what our message will be in the next 24 hours leading into it.

“Our approach to games, our mindset, will always be to try and win the game. Tomorrow will be no different.

“Obviously the level of opposition changes from week to week and makes your job more difficult, but I’m not one for looking at teams’ previous form.

“Dundee United's form previous to Wednesday night wasn’t great either, but what a tough game we had. For me, it’s what we bring to the game.

“I always look at the opposition's best qualities and you are aware of individuals' talents, regardless of their form, but I always like to stress to our team that we compete and play our game as much as we can and make sure we give the opposition problems and we'll try to do that to the best of our ability tomorrow.

“Any team has a fighting chance going into a game.

“If you don’t believe that, I don’t think you’re a professional sportsman in the first place.”

Motherwell defender Stephen O’Donnell added: “Celtic are a massive club with great players and great staff, and we have to do everything right, and if they have an off-day, then great, but I have been there before when you thought they were having an off-day and they get the goal. They've got the quality to hurt you at any minute.

“We have to make sure we do everything we can to hopefully get, if not three points, then one point."

Tomorrow’s game at Parkhead kicks off at 3pm.