For the best part of 15 years, Motherwell managers have travelled to Govan where they have tried and largely failed to convince their players that they belong on the same pitch as Rangers.
But when Stuart McCall takes his team back to his old stomping ground this midweek on Scottish Communities League Cup duty, the opposite will be the case. Suddenly, it is the Lanarkshire side who are the SPL high flyers and newly-incarnated third division strugglers Rangers who have the point to prove.
"It will be a siege mentality on Wednesday night," said McCall. "The crowd will be up for it, everyone will be up for it, it will be a case of 'let's show them this is where we should be', or 'we're better than the SPL' – things to that effect. Everybody will be up for it from the whistle, so we have to be sure we are as well."
Rangers' supporters might covet a victory to make up for their horror shows against Peterhead, Berwick Rangers, Annan Athletic and Queen of the South and keep alive their chances of a crack at Celtic in this competition down the line, but Motherwell have also waited long and hard for a chance to consolidate their current apparent superiority against the Ibrox club. Their head-to-head record is a source of huge embarrassment – Ally McCoist was still a Rangers player back in May 1997 when they last won in Glasgow, while you have to go back 10 years for their last victory at Fir Park.
There was, however, the small solace of a goalless draw at Ibrox on the final day of last season. McCall asked his team to take that kind of performance into the next campaign. Little did he guess exactly what would have transpired by the time of his next visit.
"Since I've been here we've been beaten 6-0 and I think 3-0 there, but last year we were the last SPL side to play them there and we got a creditable 0-0," the former Rangers and Everton midfielder said. "I said to the lads then we can take this into next season, not knowing that Rangers wouldn't be in the league. So it's not like having a cloud hanging over you where you can't come and express yourselves. That might be fresh in a few of our guys' minds even though there's a lot of changes in the Rangers line-up."
Whether that record carries into this season or not anyway is in itself a source of some debate. Steven Hammell, the only man in the Motherwell line-up to have tasted victory against Rangers – a sensation he has actually experienced twice – feels this match represents a year zero. "Every time we play Rangers you guys talk about our record," said the long-serving left- back. "So it would be good to put that to bed. But it's a different club and Rangers are going through a difficult stage.
"They've had to throw in a few young boys and there's no getting away from the fact they likely wouldn't have been playing if Rangers had still been in the SPL. With the result against Queen of the South and those before they've got some top players who will be hurting. They will see a game against a Premier League team as a chance to make up for that."
Hammell made his debut in a 2-0 win at Fir Park in May 2000 then featured again as Motherwell prevailed courtesy of a single James McFadden goal on Boxing Day 2002, but he still has unfinished business. "I've never won at Ibrox," he said. "That's an even greater incentive for me."
The 30-year-old is a baby-faced veteran of the Scottish game, but season 2012-13 still carries a novelty factor. "It is surreal," he said. "You think you've seen it all in Scottish football, but then Rangers suffer what they have. We'll let other people decide who are favourites, on Wednesday. But we've got more of a chance than we would've had if Rangers had still been in the SPL and still had the players of last season and a couple of years ago. We're playing well and everybody's on form. We just have to concentrate on ourselves."
That Motherwell should be among the clubs best placed to profit from the altered circumstances around Scottish football is a triumph of good governance, of people doing their jobs correctly, but whatever happens this side is likely to be sprinkled to the wind soon enough.
Hammell has just Keith Lasley and Shaun Hutchinson for company in terms of senior first-team players whose contracts last beyond the end of the season, and with central funds from the SPL arriving later than usual, an extended run in the cups would also help balance the bills at a club which exists without an overdraft facility.
"A few boys are coming to the end of their contracts and a big part of the team might be breaking up at the end of this year," he said. "This has been one of the strongest teams I've been involved in, so it would be good to do really well in the cups. It's a massive aim for myself."
It is not just players who may be tempted to move on. The job done under a limited budget by McCall is likely to bring him to the attention of bigger clubs, and Simon Ramsden, his one-time captain at Bradford City, is delighted to see his old gaffer's hard work paying dividends.
"Stuart signed me for Bradford and although he was only there for six or seven months that was one of the best spells of my career," said Ramsden. "He is a great man-manager and knows how to get the best out of his lads. A lot of managers shout and bawl, but that doesn't always get the best out of you. He just gives you respect."
Motherwell's results are worthy of respect, but before they can get their teeth into Wednesday night there is the small matter of the visit to Aberdeen today. After the visit to Ibrox is out the way, they then get a crack at Celtic. "The league is so tight that I genuinely mean any team – I was going to say outwith Celtic, but you saw what happened with St Johnstone – there's not a lot in it," said McCall. "I wouldn't be surprised one bit if Aberdeen finish second."
Such an analysis, of course, relies on certain assumptions. Wednesday night will go some way to determining whether such assumptions remain valid.