Tom Hateley reckons Motherwell’s Saturday’s Clydesdale Bank Premier League showdown with Rangers is one of the biggest of his career.
The Steelmen can move level on points with the Scottish Champions if they claim all three points at Fir Park.
With Rangers’ exclusion from European competition next season all but confirmed, Stuart McCall’s men, along with St Johnstone, Dundee Utd and Hearts, all have a great opportunity to claim a dream spot in next season’s Champions League qualifiers.
“Saturday could be up there with one of the biggest games of my career, we need to get three points and we will set ourselves up to do that,” said the 22-year-old.
“We don’t go out and aim to contain the other team, that is rarely in our mindset – we have positive and go out there and try win the game.”
Hateley admits it’s been a long week, following last weekend’s 2-0 reverse at Kilmarnock.
However, having bounced back from setbacks already this season, the Fir Park set-piece specialist is keen to do the same on Saturday.
“Last Saturday massively disappointing, nobody showed up to be honest, we had spoken before the game about how important it was and we just weren’t good enough,” stressed Hateley.
“It’s been a long week for everyone, all of the guys have worked really hard in training though and enjoyed the sun – Saturday can’t come quickly enough.
“The couple of setbacks we have had this season, we have bounced back quickly – that shows how much character there is within the squad. We are sitting where we are in the league through hard work and it’s very much deserved,”
[pullquote]Saturday could be up there with one of the biggest games of my career, we need to get three points and we will set ourselves up to do that.[/pullquote]
You have to go back 36 matches to find the last time Motherwell overturned Rangers in the SPL.
The former Reading man admits he was astonished to learn of that statistic and believes Saturday is the perfect time to end their baron run.
“There would be no better time to end that, it’s a run that blows your mind to be honest,” he added.
There has been a few occasion where we have come close and not quite get over the line and we have to make sure that if we get into that kind of situation on Saturday that we take advantage of it and try keep that win.
“Rangers have obviously had problems away from the park and that’s not nice to see happen to anyone, I’m sure their players will just be concentrating on playing football.
“It was quite weird and my dad (Mark Hateley) was there at the game, it really doesn’t matter how many times I went to Ibrox to watch my dad when I was younger though.
“Obviously those times hold great memories for me, but I am an employee of Motherwell Football Club and if the chance arises during a game I am going to do everything I can to take it for the team that I play for – I am sure anyone in the same situation in the time would say the same.
“It’s my career now and I need to do all I can to create a successful career for myself.”