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Motherwell V Celtic at Fir Park Stadium : Match Preview

26 Feb 2013 18:01:20

Motherwell V Celtic at Fir Park Stadium : Match Preview

Motherwell V Celtic - view commentary, squad, and statistics of the game live.


McCall focused on task at hand

Stuart McCall claims he has been too busy masterminding what he hopes will be Motherwell's return to form against Celtic on Wednesday night to even have time to think about his new deal.

The Fir Park boss revealed earlier this month that he was close to signing a contract extension with the Steelmen and did not anticipate any obstacles in extending his stay in Lanarkshire. He remains confident that his future will be tied up sooner rather than later.

But, having suffered back to back defeats against Dundee United and Ross County ahead of the visit of the champions, his thoughts have been occupied with more pressing matters.

McCall said: "It's not something that's been on my mind after Saturday.

"I went down to Wembley to watch my old team Bradford on Sunday so, coming in on Monday, my full focus has been on this game on Wednesday night. You've got to prepare correctly. There's not any reason for it, we've just not sat down with my representatives. There's no big dilemma with it."

Celtic head into the Clydesdale Bank Premier League clash bolstered by 12 goals in their last three outings, since losing to Juventus in the last 16 of the Champions League. But McCall is hoping a timely return to form for his own side will see Well match their visitors on the night.

He said: "They've got an array of talent and a really good strong squad and they are putting in the performances at the moment. It's like any time we play the Old Firm, we are going to have to be at our best.

"I'm confident in the group of players that we've got that if we are at our best, then we can push them close. Our approach will be to try to win the game and be as positive as we possibly can."

McCall's players have been made well aware they must show a significant improvement on Saturday's 3-0 defeat to Ross County. He said: "I've got to be honest and say I can't remember the last time we were as limp and flat as that. I watched the game back and I don't know what it was but it certainly wasn't acceptable.

"It's not often you get every one of the team under performing and that's what we had on Saturday. That's not taking anything away from Ross County, who did the job. It's history now and we've got to make sure we don't have any more of those performances."

Fraser Kerr (illness) misses out, while fellow defender Zaine Francis-Angol is a doubt after being forced out of Saturday's match.

Neil Lennon insists Celtic players have more than enough targets to ensure their season does not run out of steam.

The Hoops have garnered 62 points after 28 games and, 21 clear of Inverness at the top of the table, are striding unchallenged towards retaining their title.

T Parkhead manager pointed to several reasons why his side should be motivated to carry on from their 5-0 drubbing of Dundee at the weekend.

"We want to win our remaining 10 games and finish the season strongly," said the former Celtic captain.

"I think the points total is important, we had 92 and 93 in the last two seasons so we would like to get up around 90 again and we still have a bit of work to do to make that target.

"I want these young players to keep progressing and try and adapt to any environment or challenge that is put in front of them.

"We have scored 100 goals already this season so can we get close to 100 league goals? Can we get 90-plus points, can Gary Hooper get 30-plus goals, can Fraser Forster keep clean sheets, can the midfield pitch in with more goals? There is so much still to play for.

"It's a great time to be involved with Celtic."

Skipper Scott Brown and defender Mikael Lustig will be missing again.

Brown has seen a specialist about his abductor problem and will discover on Monday if he requires surgery while Lustig is out with a thigh injury.

Defender Charlie Mulgrew is a doubt with a glute problem.


PA

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