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Callum Lang confident Motherwell can challenge out of form Celtic

Colraine v Motherwell – UEFA Europa League – Second Qualifying Round – Colraine Football Club
(Image credit: Brian Lawless)

Callum Lang says the time is ripe to face Celtic as Motherwell look to heap fresh pain on Neil Lennon’s team.

The Hoops slumped to a painful 4-1 Europa League defeat against Sparta Prague on Thursday night to extend their recent run of woe to just one win in their last six games in all competitions.

Lennon is coming under increasing pressure to turn things around and salvage his sides’s quest for a historic 10th-straight Premiership title.

But the champions must overcome another tricky hurdle on Sunday when they travel to Fir Park.

And while Celtic must find a way to haul their sagging confidence levels out of the gutter, Stephen Robinson’s men are marching into the clash on a high after winning three of their last four Premiership fixtures.

The only setback came against rampant league leaders Rangers but striker Lang is determined to put on a better display this time round than they managed in that 5-1 hammering back in late September.

The on-loan Wigan striker said: “It probably is quite a good time for us to be facing Celtic, obviously on the back of us getting some wins – so this probably is the best time to play them.

“Against Rangers it didn’t work out for us.

“We were struggling to get going. But coming into this game, I think it’s a bit different. We’ve been on a good run and hopefully we can keep that up.

“I think there’s a lot more confidence about the team now. We just want to forget about that game against Rangers and push on.

“I’m positive we can put on a good performance.”

The root of Celtic’s troubles has been their poor defensive displays but Lang insists he will be squaring up to two quality performers when he lines up against Kristoffer Ajer and Shane Duffy.

He said: “You look at teams and you want to see where you can hurt them. So when we look at Celtic, we’ll be looking at ways to hurt them.

“Obviously they have a good side with top-class players defensively. No matter what happens, we’ll have to be on our best game to get a result.

“Guys like Ajer and Duffy are playing in Europe and rightly so, they are with a good side. You just have to try to prove yourself against them.

“If I can have a good game, it makes you look a better player when you’re up against better players, so we just want to go and perform and prove ourselves against Celtic.”

Lang’s Steelmen stint got off to the worst possible start when he was sent off on his debut at Ross County, but the 22-year-old is firmly back on track now having netted in recent wins over the Staggies and Livingston.

“It was a bit of a slow start for me but hopefully I’m up and running now and I can continue it,” he said.

“The team chopped and change at the start of the season but my aim is to play every week. That’s why I came here.

“The gaffer picks the team and if I haven’t been doing it in training or at the weekend them I’m not going to be starting, so I just need to make sure I’m doing the right things every day.”