STUART McCALL, the Rangers manager, has revealed he won't celebrate should his side win promotion by defeating former club Motherwell in the SPFL Premiership play-off final.

McCall had previously described as a "nightmare" the prospect of relegating the Fir Park side, who he managed for four years until resigning in November, and admitted he would try to put that prospect to the back of his mind until the tie is over. The teams meet at Ibrox this evening in the first leg, with the return at Fir Park on Sunday.

This tie is potentially the final part of Rangers' "journey" to the top division following liquidation in 2012 and the subsequent re-building of the club in the lower leagues. McCall is well aware of the significance of next two matches but, without getting ahead of himself, insisted there would be no huge celebration on his part should Rangers emerge with an aggregate victory.

"I won't be celebrating regardless of which way it goes," he said. "Because it's Motherwell? Yes, that's it. In years gone by, during my time as a player at Rangers, we would always have a big function back at Ibrox after a cup final or big game - win, lose or draw. But I know there won't be one in the aftermath of Sunday.

"I'll only think about [Motherwell] in the aftermath. I won't think about it all until after the game on Sunday. I'm fully focused on what I have to do here.

"Whatever the outcome on Sunday I think that's when it will hit me. It's football and ever since I was a kid all I've ever wanted to do was win. That doesn't change just because it's Motherwell.

"I had nearly four fantastic years at that club and I can't speak highly enough of the players I had there. The staff and the supporters were all incredible.

"It's a year since I came back down on the bus from Aberdeen having clinched second place. Certainly as a manager that's the best feeling I've had in the game.

"That will never go away, neither will the respect I have for the club - that will always be there. It doesn't feel like my nightmare scenario at the moment because I can't allow the occasion and the game to affect me like that. But I know it will feel like that after Sunday."

McCall empathised with players who don't celebrate when they score against their former clubs. "I can relate to that 100 per cent. I'm quite a loyal person. I signed as a player for Sheffield United when I was 38 and went back to Bradford City.

"We won 5-0 and Dean Windass ran the length of the pitch after scoring one of the goals - shirt off, big belly out. And he was a bit of a favourite at Bradford too. We went back the next year and I had the worst game I've ever played, I think my boots were on the wrong way. We beat them 2-1 and I scored but there were no celebrations from me. I was embarrassed to score."

Just as with the semi-final between Rangers and Hibernian, the build-up to this tie has been accompanied by more grumbling about ticket allocation. Motherwell have been restricted to just 950 briefs at Ibrox this evening, with Rangers getting 1500 for Fir Park in a tit-for-tat arrangement. McCall felt the sight of empty seats on Sunday would diminish the spectacle.

"This week our game will be the last game in British domestic football," he added. "Everyone is going to be watching. That's what makes it harsh and disappointing.

"We saw it at Easter Road as well. But there we gave Hibs 1000 and if I had been Hibs manager I would have been urging the club to give us the same. But it's different here because Rangers have always carried 5000 to 6000 to Fir Park.

"I don't know the ins and out about how they have come to this decision. But Scottish football, and everyone watching Scottish football, seeing it empty behind one of the goals will feel that's a bit sad for our game. If I was their manager I would think the fewer Rangers supporters there the better from a selfish point of view.

"But in terms of the game's not as though we've not sold out at home - we have sold every ticket we can. But it is what it is."

Ian Baraclough, unsurprisingly, felt that Motherwell had done nothing wrong. "We asked for three per cent (but got 1.8 per cent) of what their ground holds and we have given them 11 per cent - that is quite fair isn't it?" said the Motherwell manager.

"We know that it will be a fervent crowd at Ibrox and we are going to have to silence them as much as we can."