Peter Hartley says Motherwell will stick to their all-action style of play when they take on Celtic in this weekend’s Betfred Cup final.
The Steelmen have made it to Hampden by toppling Aberdeen and Rangers along the way, and have done so with a philosophy of playing physical but fair football against their opponents.
With the team also fifth in the Scottish Premiership table, Hartley is targeting an upset on Sunday by sticking to the style of play that has got the team this far.
“It’s a contact sport, isn’t it?” he said “Go and play basketball if you want a non-contact sport.
“We’re a physical team. If we try to play Celtic at their game, they’re going to beat us. We’ve got to play our game and being physical, getting on to second balls, being organised and drilled is what we’re about.
“We’re not going to change the way we are.
“I fully believe we can get a result. I think we’ve got a great group of lads and we’ve shown that we’re no pushover.
“It’s not a fluke or luck that we’ve beaten Aberdeen because we’ve scored five goals against them in three games.
[pullquote]I fully believe we can get a result. We have shown we are no pushover. It’s not a fluke that we beat Aberdeen 3-0 because we have scored five goals against Aberdeen now in three games.[/pullquote]
“I know Celtic’s a completely different team to Aberdeen but we’re going out there with full belief.”
Hartley scored against a star-studded Chelsea side last season, but says it will all pale into insignificance if Motherwell can beat Celtic and lift the Betfred Cup.
The centre back headed past Asmir Begovic at Stamford Bridge as Bristol Rovers narrowly came close to beating a side with £150m worth of talent on the pitch.
“I played in the League Cup against Chelsea last season with Bristol Rovers,” he said. “They put practically a first team out against us. It was a tough game at Stamford Bridge with 45,000 there.
“I managed to score but this is going to be completely different. This is a cup final and there’s a trophy to lift at the end of it.”
The 29-year-old was also on target in the quarter-final win against Aberdeen at Fir Park and has been an ever-present in Stephen Robinson’s defence since making the switch north.
The playing squad turned down the chance to wear suits to Hampden Park for the big occasion, with Hartley saying that’s down to their attitude towards trying to win the match.
“That’s not for us, the suits and stuff,” he added. “That doesn’t win you a game. We are not a suits type of team.
“We don’t want to be sweating on the coach driving to Hampden and YouTubeing how to do a Windsor Knot and stuff like that. We will wear a tracksuit, turn up and do what we’re there to do, which is play football, and hopefully we will come out with a result.
“I fully believe we can get a result. We have shown we are no pushover. It’s not a fluke that we beat Aberdeen 3-0 because we have scored five goals against Aberdeen now in three games.
“I know Celtic are a completely different team to Aberdeen but we are going out there with full belief. We’ll get a game plan and I’d like to think we will execute it.”