STUART KETTLEWELL knows Motherwell will have to get it spot on technically, tactically and physically if they are to overcome the odds against Rangers.

But the Fir Park boss reckons the mentality of his side will be the key factor as he plots what would be a famous win over Michael Beale's side this weekend.

Kettlewell was in the dugout at Parkhead when Ross County stunned Celtic in the League Cup and left Glasgow with a historic 2-0 victory in November 2020 and he now has an Old Firm double in his sights.

The task ahead of the Steelmen on Saturday is ominous. Kettlewell is well aware of what pieces must fall into place, though, as he attempts to keep the momentum building in Lanarkshire.

"You lean on it in that it was a disciplined performance, we took the opportunities when they came and we were very difficult to play against," Kettlewell said of win over Celtic as Ross Stewart and Alex Iacovitti netted. "We handled the ball pretty well which in these situations you're going to have to do.

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"I go back to the fact that when you play against international players and teams at the top of the league there has to be a real mental strength. You can't get too anxious in the game, you can't jump out of your shape at times when it's not on.

"I've watched a few Rangers game recently and they can pick you off for fun when you make poor decisions and you can't influence their direction of play.

"Tactically that's big but for me mentally, the decision-making and emotional intelligence is massive for me. We have to make sure we're good on that front. How you handle the occasion is so important."

Motherwell head into the Fir Park fixture with three wins from their last four outings and the Steelmen could make a late charge for the top six this term after giving themselves breathing space at the foot of the table.

They will face a Rangers side that are unbeaten in the Premiership on Beale's watch and Kettlewell has not been surprised with the way in which the Ibrox outfit have improved in recent weeks.

“I’ve been on a coaching course and listened to him before," Kettlewell said. "He is really impressive how he comes across, his ideas on coaching and management beyond that as well there has been a further conversation. He is a guy I really respect and one who has had an unbelievable record since he came in to Rangers.

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“He is somebody I can see making them stronger and stronger through time. Michael will probably tell you he backs himself to get on the pitch and coach players and get his ideas across.

"It’s almost that hybrid between coach and manager. Having that understanding on how to do both. Most people you speak to with his experiences then Michael is one of the top coaches about.”

Motherwell have not beaten Rangers in league action - outside of their play-off wins in 2015 - since James McFadden fired them to victory on Boxing Day in 2002.

The stage is set for a new hero to step forward and striker Kevin van Veen could be that man as he attempts to add to his 17 goal tally this term.

“It’s not just games against Rangers or Celtic," Kettlewell when asked if van Veen would relish the showpiece fixture. "I have seen the hunger in Kevin since I came in and he’s the type of guy that’s disappointed not walking away with three goals in Dingwall last time out. That’s a brilliant trait to have.

“He backs himself, he believes he can play against good players. I watch him in training every day and he does it.

"I have watched him in games and even playing against good defenders and good players he backs himself to do well in those games. He is a massive asset to us and we back him to continue doing that over the next 10 games or so.”