HAMMELL ENJOYS RAISED EXPECTATIONS
Defender Stevie Hammell believes Motherwell must secure third spot in the Clydesdale Bank Premier League before they can turn their focus to beating Rangers to the runners-up prize.
Victory for the Steelmen against Ally McCoist's side at Fir Park on Saturday would allow them to move level on points with the Glasgow giants.
But Hammell wants to ensure there is no chance of the teams sitting just below them in the SPL catching Motherwell in the final games of the season.
He said: "First and foremost we have to concentrate on finishing third. That's still not finished yet. We need another two or three wins before we can look at anything else.
"We find ourselves in a position where, if we win on Saturday, we will be joint with Rangers on points and that's the goal. It's a great position to be in.
"I've been in teams fighting at the bottom of the league so we would much rather be where we are now. It is different. The expectation levels are higher. That's something that comes from winning and playing well and it's something we need to get used to."
Rangers are battling to finish second after being docked 10 points by the SPL when they went into administration last month and Hammell would love to see Motherwell take advantage of their position.
He added: "It's not a position anybody ever thought we would be in but that's where we find ourselves now.
"It's with Rangers being deducted points but we are there now and we want to challenge them as much as we can. They will be right up for it but we are looking forward to the game on Saturday.
"We are at home and our record against Rangers recently has been poor but it's something we want to change."
Motherwell are aiming to end a 10-year wait for a win against Rangers but Hammell knows a repeat of their performance in last week's 2-0 defeat to Kilmarnock will simply not be good enough.
The defender said: "It's about as poor as we have played this season. It was a big chance for us to not only stay in touch with Rangers but also to keep that cushion with Dundee United and St Johnstone.
"It was a big game for us and we just didn't show up. It was maybe our poorest performance of the season.
"We've had two really good, hard training sessions since the game last weekend and you can sense it among the boys that they are keen to get back out there and put it right.
"We've not had many bad days this season but last Saturday was definitely one of them. This Saturday can't come quickly enough."
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