Mark McGhee believes Motherwell must take at least a point at home to Celtic tomorrow to finish in the top six.
After five successive league wins, the Fir Park side moved into fourth place in the Premiership table with 44 points from 32 games.
However, with Partick Thistle beating Dundee United and Dundee drawing with Celtic on Tuesday night, the Steelmen could find themselves in the bottom half of the table after the split if they lose to Celtic while the Partick, Dundee and St Johnstone all win – or Saints even manage a draw.
McGhee surveyed the top-six landscape ahead of the visit of the league leaders and said: “It reinforces what I said earlier in the week, that I wasn’t prepared to think anything other than we were going to need something against Celtic.
“You can’t trust anybody in this league, everyone is capable of beating everyone else, taking something from everyone else.
“I think that if we don’t get anything on Saturday we are in trouble. The mentality of the other three teams will be good enough to go and get wins.
“So I think we need something on Saturday. I haven’t allowed myself to get into any other frame of mind, so I am not caught trying to pick myself up, I am ready for it.
“We also know the difficulty in that. We are playing Celtic, we are not playing one of the others similar to us. We are playing a better team than us and somehow we have to conjure a way to get something out of that.”
Motherwell won 2-1 at Parkhead in December and McGhee believes only the same level of workrate will give them the chance of the double over a side who are trying to stay ahead of second-placed Aberdeen in the title race.
He said: “That win was based on hard work and if we remember that, then that will be the starting point. We can’t have any fancy ideas of how we are going to play, the type of football we are going to play. First and foremost we have to be prepared to work harder than them.
“We’ve got to imagine that they are going to play as well as they possibly can. The stakes are huge for them as well.
“I do think the title race is genuine. I believe Celtic will win the title. They are enough points ahead at the moment that they will see it over the line eventually. But I think Aberdeen are genuine contenders.”