Fir Park full-back Stevie Hammell hopes Motherwell can finally end a ten-year winless run against Rangers and draw level on points with the Ibrox side.
The Steelmen haven’t taken three points off Rangers since a solitary James McFadden goal was enough for a 1-0 victory back in Boxing Day 2002.
36 games have passed since then, Rangers have won 28 of them but Hammell, a sole survivor of that victory a decade ago, is determined to finally reverse that stat and insists there is no mental barrier preventing them from delivering the right result.
“I think the belief in the squad is there, we believe we are good enough,” he said.
“I don’t think we have taken anything off either side of the Old Firm this season and the record against Rangers in the last ten years, I’m told, is really poor.
“But if we want to be considered one of the best teams in the league, it’s about time that we changed it.
“It’s a test of character for the boys. We find ourselves in a position that we’re not used to in terms of league position and challenging a team for second.
“So I think the character in the dressing room is there. It’s up to us to show other people what we know and believe in the dressing room – that we can beat Rangers.
“It’s going to be very difficult and we know they are getting stronger but the belief is definitely there.”
[pullquote]I think the belief in the squad is there, we believe we are good enough.[/pullquote]
The 30-year old former Scotland International, who has played 420 times in Claret and Amber, is out of contract at the end of the current campaign.
However, the former Southend man has indicated a strong desire to remain at the club and insists the prospect that third place in the SPL could possible carry a Champions League slot is an additional benefit.
He added: “There have been talks between the club and my agents, just in the early stages just now. A few of the boys are in the same position.
“If we can keep most of the squad together, I think we can have another strong season next year.
“I would be keen to stay anyway but what an incentive [Champions League football] would be to come back next year.
“To be honest, we haven’t really spoken about it as a goal – but it is there for everybody to see.
“I don’t know if it’s cut and dried with Rangers yet if they’re going to be in Europe. But, if third place gets you into the Champions League, it’s a great incentive. You’re not going to get any better than that although we’ve still got a lot of hard work to do with teams chasing behind us.
“Ever since I’ve been playing, it’s not a position we have been in so we need to strive to get over the line and make sure we finish at least third,” added Hammell who spoke as he promoted ESPN’s coverage of Saturday’s game