Stuart McCall is desperate to continue his excellent Scottish Cup pedigree with a win over Dundee at Dens Park this weekend.
The former Rangers midfielder won the fabled trophy three times in his spell with the Ibrox club and has now set his sights on more glory, starting with a win over Barry Smith’s in-form dark blues.
“I’ve been fortunate enough to win a couple of Scottish Cups,” McCall recalled. “And it’s my job to make sure Motherwell are still in the hat for the next round and that we can progress as far as possible.
“It’s a big game financially – as it is, of course, for Dundee – and it is a big game in terms of us needing a result, because the longer this run goes without a win the more difficult it is to get out of it. We have to turn fortunes around quickly.”
The boss is under no illusions about how tough the task will be for the Steelmen as they head north for the televised encounter.
Dundee are on a run of six consecutive wins, with ten games unbeaten, and haven’t conceded a goal since Mark Millar’s strike in a 3-3 draw with Falkirk back in October last year. Conversely Motherwell are on a run of six fixtures without a victory; a run which, according to McCall, must end this weekend.
“We go up to Dundee and we’ll try to get the win, get the belief back in to the players, and get the performances back to what they were earlier in the season,” the 46-year old insisted. “We are determined to go up there with a positive attitude.
“We’ll need to start well as they will be really fired up for this one and, naturally when two even teams play each other, we will need a bit of luck. It’s up to us to go up there.
“Dundee is always a tough place to go, but it’s a big park which will hopefully suit our players and the way we want to set up. We go in to this match on the back of six matches without a win, whereas they are on a great run of wins on the bounce.”
The new manager has come into the club at a hectic time on and off the pitch at Fir Park. Not only is there a packed fixture list to come, but he has to deal with contract and loan deal expiries as well as trying to strengthen the squad for challenges to come.
He said: “What excites me is having trained with the lads in the last few days, is that the quality in the squad is extremely good. It’s a small squad in terms of numbers but I have been really impressed with training and the way they have gone about things.
“But Saunders is out this weekend, and we have decided not to renew the contract of Alan Gow. If you add that to the on-going Nick Blackman situation we have lost three players from last week’s squad.
“The Nick Blackman issue isn’t dead and buried, but it’s up to the player and Blackburn Rovers as to what happens next. However I would be confident that if he comes back to Scotland then he will be coming back to Motherwell – but there is no guarantee he will return to Scotland; he has his own contract to sort out.”
‘Well will receive a massive boost ahead of the match on Sunday with the return of Steve Jennings to the Motherwell fold. The influential midfielder has been suspended for the last three matches, and his potential return is bound add some steel and vitality to the ‘Well defence.
“One major plus is the return of Steve Jennings, who is raring to go,” the former Bradford boss praised.
“He’s shown in training that he is desperate to be involved again. We’ve had to pull the reins on him actually; we can’t afford any more injuries!
“He can’t wait to get back onto the pitch, and performing how he was before his suspension.”
The Scottish FA are urging fans to vote for their Scottish Cup Player of the Round and they could win tickets for the 5th round of the Scottish Cup. Simply log onto www.facebook.com/scottishcup to vote and win.