Motherwell form has McGhee on high alert

Motherwell boss Mark McGhee admits the club’s drop into the relegation play-off zone has him in a state of high alert but says Tuesday’s crucial encounter with Dundee United won’t be decisive.

The Steelmen looked to be setting their sights on a top-six finish after victory over Celtic in December but since then a slump in form has left them fighting relegation for a second successive season.

It underlines how tight the league at the bottom end of the table is, with only a few points separating half a dozen teams.

Defeat to Kilmarnock on Saturday has left McGhee’s men in a precarious position and has the Scotland assistant boss under no illusions of what is needed.

“We have to dig ourselves out again. I have always been in that state of high alert and not got complacent at any stage. But if anybody was, now they have to get real,” he said.

Motherwell’s trip to United has been billed as a six-pointer. The gap from the Steelmen to the bottom side is 12 points but that could be whittled down to six if the Arabs win on Tuesday as well as their game in hand.

Regardless of the outcome of the Tannadice clash McGhee doesn’t believe it will be pivotal in the relegation battle.

“I’m not sure, whether we win, lose or draw, it’s going to decide anything. It’s not. It’s an opportunity for us to lift ourselves out of it but more important for me is the performance, because you can play really well and not win.

“But if we play really well at least we can go on to St Johnstone knowing that mentally we are okay and physically we are up for it. But if we go to Dundee United and play like we did on Saturday then obviously the alarm bells will be ringing.”

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