There may still be 12 games remaining in the Ladbrokes Premiership, but there is an air of anticipation surrounding Saturday’s clash with Kilmarnock.
With the two sides currently level on 32 points, and with the same goal difference, ‘Well have the chance to put three points between themselves and their nearest competitors for a top six spot.
Add to that the fact that both sides have only tasted defeat once since the turn of the year, Saturday’s clash pits two in form sides against one another at Fir Park.
Stephen Robinson, who knows that Kilmarnock will be tough opponents, is hopeful of seeing his side maintain their strong run of form.
The ‘Well boss believes that three points could not only stretch the club away from any potential relegation worries, but could present the ‘Well with real top six aspirations.
In Kilmarnock though, Robinson admits his side come up against a side brimming with confidence and in fine form.
“I was at Kilmarnock’s game against Dundee and it was a good game, an exciting game and Killie have been on a fantastic run,” the manager said.
“But so have we. We’ve won four, drawn two and lost just once since the break, so we’ve been quietly doing it whilst other sides have maybe got plaudits.
“That’s fine though,” he added. “We did the same in the first half of the season and we don’t mind doing that – picking up results and people not making too much of it.”
Whilst this fixture presents the chance to extend that hold on the top six, Kilmarnock also have a couple of games in hand, so Robinson isn’t getting too carried away.
“My first priority is to stay in the division,” the Northern Irishman said. “So this is the potential of another three points and making sure that’s a reality.
“We’re looking forward to it, Killie are on a good run and Steve Clarke’s done a good job there, a really, really good job.”
[pullquote]Obviously we can look up the way too because it will be a big game in the battle for the top six and keeping our run going.[/pullquote]
The manager addressed team news ahead of the Premiership encounter too, revealing the extent of Peter Hartley’s injury lay-off.
He said: “Peter won’t require surgery but he will be out for a minimum of two months. He has a problem with his foot that was rather innocuous when he was jogging in training.”
Motherwell will also be without Cédric Kipré, who is out through suspension, accumulated by yellow cards.
One man who will be fit, and will be hugely important for the Fir Park side, is Chris Cadden.
His start against Dundee in the William Hill Scottish Cup last weekend took the player to the 100-game milestone in claret and amber. A huge achievement for such a young player.
“It was a brilliant feeling,” the 21-year-old said of making the milestone. “To play 100 games is a brilliant achievement for me. It was a really proud day for me and my family.
“When I came in, I took each game as it came. The gaffer has trusted me, which I’ve appreciated.
“Both Mark McGhee and Stephen Robinson have trusted me and hopefully I’ve repaid that trust.”
Across his 100 games, Cadden has seen it all. From scrapping against relegation at the wrong end of the table, to reaching the Betfred Cup final.
The team’s form took a minor dip after that appearance at Hampden Park but the squad have returned energised from the winter break, and a bonding trip to Spain.
“At Motherwell, we are going to have peaks and troughs,” he said. “It’s not always going to be plain sailing or going for second in the league all the time.
“We are going to have that wee dip. But we’ve come back from it. Having the winter break, the trip to Tenerife done us the world of good and we’ve come back strong.”
Motherwell v Kilmarnock
|Saturday 17th February 2018|
|Tickets on sale from the Fir Park ticket office or pay at the gate.|
Admission prices are as follows:
|FAMILY (1 ADULT + 1 JUNIOR)||£29/£24|
- Cheaper price is for the John Hunter stand.
- Concessions are applicable to 60 and over and full time students with a valid matriculation card.
- Juveniles are applicable to aged 15 and under.
- Away fans will be housed in the McEwan Fraser Legal south stand. Cash gates are in operation.
If you can’t make it along, don’t miss the action by tuning in to mixlr.com/motherwellfc for live commentary or follow the match on Twitter @MotherwellFC
You can see the match highlights on MFC TV’s YouTube channel, as well as full reaction and a match report right here on the official website.
The Cooper Bar is open for both sets of supporters to enjoy pre-match food and drink from 11am. Children are welcome.
Nadir Çiftçi and Gael Bigirimana will also be in the bar from 12.45pm in the Signing Zone. Come along and get your photograph taken and get an autograph.