Mark McGhee: Motherwell have better chance against Rangers than Celtic

Mark McGhee believes Rangers can't attract the kind of quality player that Celtic have. Picture: John Devlin
Mark McGhee believes Rangers can't attract the kind of quality player that Celtic have. Picture: John Devlin
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Motherwell manager Mark McGhee believes his side have a better chance of getting something at Ibrox than they did at Celtic Park last week.

McGhee has reinforced the message to his players to forget their 5-0 Betfred Cup defeat after Israeli champions Hapoel Be’er Sheva also lost to five goals at Parkhead.

But he feels there is an opportunity to claim a result against Rangers after creating a series of good chances against Mark Warburton’s men in a 2-0 cup loss last month.

Rangers are top of the Ladbrokes Premiership after a home draw against Hamilton and 2-1 victory over Dundee and have targeted Preston striker Joe Garner and Aston Villa defender Joleon Lescott to improve their squad.

McGhee said: “Hamilton played really well that day and second half last week Dundee played well, so I think there are opportunities.

“But their ability to sign players is different from ours, regardless of the noises that come out of there about their circumstances. So it’s always going to be difficult for the rest of us to compete with that.

“But they have not quite got to the stage of signing the sort of players Celtic are signing for millions and millions. So therefore we feel as if we should still be in touch with them, in a way that maybe we’ve no right to think we are with Celtic.

“So we can go there believing if we play really well then we can get something, as Accies did.

“We played them here and it was a clash of styles in a sense but it was a fairly even game and we felt a little unlucky to lose the way we did. So we know we can go there and give them a game.”

However, McGhee recognises that his players must improve their energy levels after a flat display in last weekend’s 2-1 defeat by St Johnstone.

“We do all the sports science and the GPS and our stats were down by about 1.5km on Saturday,” he said. “That’s significant.

“I demonstrated to the lads how significant that was by giving them 10 200-metre runs at training on Tuesday, to show that was missing from our game, and how can you expect to win if that’s missing from your game?

“We’ve got to get up to that level to give us a chance of getting anything from Ibrox.”

Meanwhile, McGhee revealed there was nothing happening on the transfer front with Louis Laing’s loan move to Notts County helping to balance the books rather than freeing up space for a newcomer.

Steven Hammell has returned to training following a calf strain but Carl McHugh is still ruled out by his head knock.

READ MORE - Rumour Mill: Celtic face UEFA charge over flags | Rangers wait on Lescott decision | Striker admits Hibs interest

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