Motherwell V Inverness CT at Fir Park Stadium : Match Preview

14 April 2017

Relegation battle a different kind of pressure, says Motherwell's Craig Clay

Motherwell midfielder Craig Clay admits fighting relegation is a whole new pressure - but he believes they have the players who can rise to the challenge.

Clay spent the past two seasons gunning for promotion with Grimsby, achieving his goal at the second attempt in the Vanarama National League play-offs.

The 24-year-old is hoping to avoid another end-of-season extension, with Motherwell battling to get out of the bottom two with Inverness.

"It's such a different pressure, massively," Clay said.

"If you're at the top of the table and you get a loss, don't get me wrong, you are still disappointed, but you are not faced with the reality of the club going down. So it's a completely different pressure.

"But I suppose that's when big players make names for themselves, so hopefully we have got a lot of players that can do that and keep us safe.

"The way you have got to look at it, it's in our hands. If there wasn't a split and you were playing Celtic, Rangers in the last five games, teams like that, at least we know we are playing teams around us and if we get our game right then it's in our hands."

Motherwell have generally played well under Stephen Robinson but they were poor in the first half of last weekend's 1-0 defeat by Partick Thistle, with the new manager telling his players they looked like they did not realise the impact of defeat.

"You know yourself as a player when you have played badly. It's not nice, you go home, think about it, you probably beat yourself up.

"But that's the flip side of being a professional. You have got to dust yourself down, come back in on the Monday morning and just go again, get it out your system and just concentrate on the next game.

"Every game is a cup final now. We are not going to hide the fact that this is a huge game. We know if we can get three points against them it's massive, not just points-wise but psychologically that could maybe kill them and lift us."

Meanwhile, defender Louis Laing is confident Inverness still have control of their Ladbrokes Premiership future.

The Highlanders are bottom of the table, four points behind Motherwell and Richie Foran's side lost 3-0 at home to St Johnstone last week to extend their run without a win to six outings.

However, former Fir Park player Laing insists only positivity pervades the club as they look for crucial victories in their bid for survival.

He said: "We're obviously sitting bottom of the table so that's a fact we cannot avoid, but it's in our hands.

"That's what we're looking to do, we're looking to win every game. The past five or six games have been pretty unfortunate.

"If you put aside the last game, we could have scraped three or four wins. It hasn't gone for us though. Sometimes we need a bit of luck.

"We've had two or three great chances in each of those games where we could have put the ball in the back of the net.

"We've scraped some draws in games we should have won. These last six games are vital - and I think we'll be all right."

Source: PAR