Fresh from a draw at fortress Parkhead Kevin van Veen now knows exactly what it takes to stop Ange Postecoglou's Celtic and, to put it in the Dutchman's earthy parlance, the answer is to show "balls".

In a trait often seen in his countrymen over the years, the towering Motherwell striker isn't shy when offering an opinion and after scoring the equaliser in a 1-1 draw with the champions-elect, you can forgive him for a slightly coarse appraisal of his side's strategy.

There's no doubt that given Celtic's form under the Aussie, getting even a draw is a remarkable return for Motherwell's endeavours, something Van Veen is typically candid about.

"To go to their stadium and get a point, it feels like a victory, let’s be honest. They are such good footballers, they have an amazing gaffer and the crowd, the venue, everything is amazing here. But me personally, you need to have a pair of balls. 

READ MORE: Kettlewell thrilled by draw at Celtic as he reveals 'ego' factor

"Sorry if that's a swear word, but I mean, you have to come here and not be scared, because if you get scared they will roll you over. They smell if you are scared, they smell if you have fear so if you have the ball, you need to try things and put them on the back foot. 

"Sometimes there will be gaps, there will be chances. That's what I thought today, I thought every time I get the ball I'm going to try something. If I lay it back - boring. I need to go the other way. So I think with no fear and a really good structure as the gaffer set us up today, everything worked out the way we wanted it to."

The Herald: Van Veen battles for the ballVan Veen battles for the ball (Image: PA)

Since taking over from Graham Alexander, manager Stuart Kettlewell has transformed Motherwell from a side looking destined for relegation to one comfortably clear of the drop zone. And while there may have been people inside the dressing room with reservations over his appointment, they have been quickly silenced by the methodical preparation and knowledge of their coach.

“In my opinion, we’re very lucky to have this man for the job," he beamed. "He’s such a good, good manager, so detailed, so professional, he knows everything.

“At the start, maybe we were thinking oh, it’s another academy coach pushing through, although he had a spell at Ross County. But you ask every single lad in that dressing room. He’s amazing and he prepares us so well.

“We came here with no fear, set up the way the gaffer wanted to set up. The way we train and everything, that’s all down to him. I’m very lucky to have him as my gaffer and everyone thinks the same."

While Kettlewell's impact has been stark, Van Veen's role in the team's revival can't be underestimated. The striker now sits on 20 league goals, three behind the leader Kyogo Furuhashi. And while he admits the Japanese is indeed the Premiership's best marksman, Van Veen has a target for the season he's determined to hit.

"Kyogo is the best striker in the league. He's the man with the most brains for me, he's clever. Of course, I'm trying to put pressure on but all due respect to Kyogo, he's amazing, but I need to look after myself as well.

"I've got five more games, 24 goals already and everybody laughed at me so it will be good when I hit the 30 mark. I hope everybody's nose is in it, put it that way. That's going to happen because I feel good! 

READ MORE: Postecoglou admits Celtic were 'a bit desperate' against Motherwell

"I'm just going to keep trying hard for the team, because I want to be important. With the gaffer it feels like a big family, that's what the gaffer puts into this team. We're doing everything so well. If I put the goals in then it means I am helping the team and that's the most important thing."

Van Veen's contract runs until the summer of 2024 but with his goalscoring exploits sure to be noticed by richer clubs, offers may be forthcoming in the summer.  The 31-year-old is certainly in no hurry to move and he's adamant he won't force a departure from a club he's come to adore.

"Being honest, I love this club, from cleaner to chef, from fans - I love everybody, the club feels like home to me," he said. "But on the other hand, because I'm 31 and I feel like I'm in my prime, I'm feeling very good. If there's someone coming in and it feels like the right step, can it be my last move, I will have a conversation with the club and the gaffer. That might be my last chance so maybe we can all have a green light and everybody's happy because if that's the case, and they do get certain money for me, then I'm helping the club too. 

"Because I'm 31, maybe they get younger people in and make a change, and I can make my own step. That's important but I would never force my way out, I'm very happy here, but on the other hand, I am getting older and if there's an amazing step for me, I would be willing to take it but it has to be all positive from everybody's side. I won't press anything through because that's my respect to this club, they gave me the chance to perform at this level."