Stuart McCall says Motherwell must raise game as Fir Park side bid to break hoodoo

Stuart McCall insists that Motherwell must show a much-improved level of performance against Rangers if they are to end their run of 36 games without a win over the Ibrox side.

Motherwell host the Clydesdale Bank Premier League champions today knowing that a victory would move them level on points with Ally McCoist’s side in second place.

So far this season Well have fallen to a 3-0 defeat at home to Rangers and lost their corresponding fixture at Ibrox by the same scoreline.

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“It’s a huge game for both sides and one we are looking forward to,” said McCall.

“What is for certain is we will have to play better than we have against Rangers this season, we are probably the worst side they have played.

“To break that hoodoo we need to perform to a level against them that we haven’t managed, the level of performance we’ve shown this season has been terrific on most occasions but against Rangers it simply hasn’t been there. There’s no guarantees about the result but I can promise the performance will be a good one.” Rangers travel to Fir Park buoyed by their 3-2 win in last Sunday’s Old Firm derby at Ibrox. McCall believes that the return of players such as Kyle Lafferty and Steven Whittaker will also come as a big boost.

The Fir Park side will welcome back an influential figure in their squad for the match, with Keith Lasley returning from a two-match suspension.

“Rangers will be as strong a side as they have been for a very long time given the number of players they have back from injury,” said McCall. “There is no doubt that they have good players and a good squad so it will be difficult. I have a great deal of confidence in my squad too though and I know we can make things difficult for any side visiting Fir Park.”

Following a run of good results for both St Johnstone and Dundee United in recent weeks, Motherwell’s lead in third place in the SPL table has been cut to just five points.

With the team in third likely to be rewarded with a place in next season’s Champions League qualifiers, McCall insists his side must keep their focus firmly on themselves.

“We can’t effect anyone else’s results until we play them and if we do our job then we won’t have to look elsewhere and that’s what we have to focus on,” he insisted.

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“This time last season we were fighting for a place in the top six and now we are fighting for a European slot.

“With the number of European places up for grabs it’s going to ensure a tense end and we still have to play all of the teams around us after the split.

“I am confident that we have enough quality within the squad that we can earn enough points to give ourselves a good chance.”