Lukas Jutkiewicz hailed his dramatic late equaliser against Hibs as his best goal ever – and then admitted he almost wasn’t on the pitch to score it.
The talented young striker chased down a John Sutton punt forward deep into injury time and held off the challenge of Paul Hanlon before lashing home a devastating half-volley, belying the niggling knee injury he has suffered with recently…an injury that almost saw him subbed before his moment of glory.
“It felt like I hit it pretty sweet, so I knew it had a chance – it was one of my better ones!” The Everton loan star smiled.
“At that stage in the game I didn’t think I had the legs to run the defender, and there was no-one near me, so I thought ‘why not’ and luckily for me it found the corner.
“The gaffer was thinking about bringing me off, they were talking about it on the bench. So I think I was pretty close to being hooked to save my knee for Sunday. I was hurting but I felt like there was still something in the game for me, as mad as it sounds I didn’t think the game was dead because it was so open.”
The Steelmen had to come back from being 4-1 down ten minutes into the second period, and 6-2 down with just 25 minutes left on the clock. What followed was a comeback nobody in attendance at Fir Park will ever forget, and the hero of the encounter was full of praise for the character of the ‘Well squad.
A beaming Jutkiewicz said: “We gave ourselves an awful lot to do, but that makes it all the sweeter when we finally did come back.”
“Tonight was a really special night. We felt like we could score every time we went forward, but it was unbelievable that we could come back from 6-2 down with 25 minutes left. With the way we came back, and the character we showed to score such a late and dramatic goal it was probably the most exciting game of my career.”
Motherwell now head to Ibrox knowing the must at least match John Hughes’ side’s result at Tannadice. ‘Well will be looking for a more positive result than last time they visited the home of the Champions, when coincidentally they also conceded six goals.
When asked the difference between the Motherwell team that shifted six at Ibrox earlier in the season and the Motherwell team that will take the field on Sunday Lukas joked: “After tonight? No difference!”
Regardless of the match earlier in the season Jutkiewicz is feeling confident ahead of the trip to Govan, and believes Europa Cup football will be enough of an incentive to get ‘Well across the line.
“Rangers will be really up for the game. They are getting the trophy and there will be a big crowd, so we know that it will be a really difficult match,” Lukas acknowledged. “But the last time we played Rangers we were terrific and really unlucky not to win, so we will go there with the confidence that we can get a result.”
“We’ve got experienced heads now, and players who know what it’s like to play in matches like this. So hopefully they will help us through and get the result.
“European football is something every player strives for and it’s something we are desperate to achieve and if we can achieve fourth place then that would be job done.”