Steve Jennings admits it will be a massive thrill to run out at Celtic Park on Tuesday night, and the midfield dynamo can’t wait for the big games to keep on coming when Motherwell begin their post-split fixtures still chasing a spot in the Europa League.
Jennings was a substitute the last time The Steelmen visited Parkhead and just coming on for the final ten minutes made an impression on the player – now he can’t wait to start!
“I’m looking forward to it,” he said. “Coming out to big crowds and big occasions is what we come to work and train for and try to better ourselves for. So to come and play at a ground like Celtic Park is just fantastic.
“The objective at the beginning of the season was to finish in the top six. We have cemented that now and we can really look forward to the next few games and try to finish as high as we can.”
Plenty neutrals in Scottish football were cheering on the plucky underdogs from Dingwall on Saturday afternoon, but Jennings admits that his mind was on potential European football next season and he would have like to have seen the men in green-and-white make the final:
“I didn’t actually see the game. I was a bit disappointed with the result, with the effect it has on our hopes for a Europa League spot. If Celtic had got to the final it would have opened up an extra place for us.”
All eyes will be on the home side on Tuesday as everyone looks to see Celtic’s response after losing to Ross County, and Jennings is expecting Lennon’s charges to come flying out the blocks:
“They will be embarrassed by the result against Ross County. I’ve played in games where we have lost to a lower league, and you just can’t wait to get back out on the park to make things right.
“So for them Tuesday night can’t come soon enough I’d imagine. It will be a really tough test for us.”
The crowd inside Celtic Park could be a big factor, and Jennings thinks turning the them against Celtic could be one of Motherwell’s best hopes of getting a result:
“If I were a Celtic fan I would be very disappointed at the way my season has gone. So we will go there and play the best we can.
Jennings laughed: “If we can upset the home crowd then we have obviously done our job well!”
Much has been made about the skewed nature of the post-split fixtures as far as Motherwell are concerned, but Jennings is determined to look on the bright side and sees a great opportunity to get at least a couple of massive wins at Fir Park in the race for fourth:
“Dundee United and Hibs are our main rivals, and getting them at home gives us a really good opportunity to get a couple of big wins. If we can do that we could be in a great position. Obviously, for the club, it’s not worked out and the financial implications will be quite hefty but we’ve just got to keep focused on the task in hand and that is on the pitch.
Motherwell find themselves in the rather unfamiliar position under Brown and Knox of having lost two consecutive matches, and Jennings in acutely aware of the need to arrest any potential slide and head into the top six in fine fettle:
“We have no excuses for the Falkirk game,” he admitted.
“They came here and played probably as well as they have all season away from home. We were just disappointed in our own performance. A lot of us didn’t turn up, and we just have to put that down to an off day.
“Hopefully we can make up for that against Celtic. We will go to Celtic Park and play our game. We can’t look at the way Ross County played; we will go there and do our own thing.”
The Liverpudlian midfielder has been in terrific form of late, and renewing his contract ranks high in the clubs current priority list. The player is certainly keen to see his future sorted:
“I’m still in talks over my contract, but I hope it will be getting sorted in the next few weeks.”