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Motherwell goalkeeper Jordan Archer looking forward to Jermain Defoe reunion

Oxford United v Manchester City – Carabao Cup – Quarter Final – Kassam Stadium
(Image credit: Mike Egerton)

Motherwell goalkeeper Jordan Archer is looking forward to going up against Jermain Defoe after facing a multitude of the Rangers striker’s shots during his Tottenham days.

Archer came through the youth ranks while Defoe was firing in goals for Spurs.

“When I was younger at Spurs I had good times with Jermain,” the 27-year-old said.

“He was always great to the young lads, always took time out to come and speak to us. I’ve got a good relationship with him.

“I haven’t seen him for a couple of years now so it will be good to see him but I will leave that to after the game because my focus is on the actual game itself.

“I was in goal for quite a lot of his shooting practice because I was one of the younger lads at the time.

“He’s a great finisher, you can just look at his record and the amount of goals he has scored.

“That was years back and now I’m on the opposite side to him. I have never played against  him in an actual match, just in training.”

Facing the quickfire strikes of Defoe was a good education for a young goalkeeper.

“That was one of his strengths, he has a low centre of gravity, he takes a shift and shot quickly so it’s something I have been used to,” the Scotland international added.

“But I am not just going to focus on him, there’s a number of other players Rangers have that possess that sort of quality.”

Motherwell boss Stephen Robinson saw his thoughts on how to approach Saturday’s Ibrox test reinforced when he watched St Mirren beat Rangers in the Betfred Cup on Wednesday.

“It was sort of the perfect storm so to speak, the weather was horrendous, the pitch was a bit bobbly and maybe Rangers didn’t play to the top of their game,” Robinson said.

“Credit to St Mirren, they dug in, they stayed in the game, they defended well and I think that’s the key to it.

“I feel it will be a completely different game at Ibrox, bigger pitch, better surface, I would imagine their team will change as well. It will be a tough ask no matter what, we won’t be fooled by a one-off result.

“We are going to have to defend very well, that’s what I got out of the game the other night, people were throwing their bodies on the line, and you have to do that and you have to hope that Rangers don’t hit the top of their game.

“But what it does, it gives you a little bit of hope that they are not invincible.”

Motherwell suffered a 5-1 defeat against Rangers at Fir Park in September and lost 4-0 at Ibrox in pre-season. Robinson will use a different blueprint as he looked back to a late 2-1 defeat in Govan in October last year.

“The reality is if we go toe-to-toe with Rangers, which we have done on occasions, they inevitably win,” he said.

“You do have to change, I don’t think there’s any shame in that. Most clubs at our level have to change when you play a top team. You have to be a it more defensive minded.

“What we maybe haven’t done in the past is stay in the game long enough and that’s something we will look to change.

“But when we went there the last time we got beaten from a set-play. We set up very well, were strong and organised and gave them a really good game.

“The pre-season game we went out and tried to play and got battered. There’s lessons to be learned all the time and you try and take them all the time and come up with a solution.”