What Stuart Kettlewell said after his side’s shock 2-1 victory over Rangers at Ibrox

Stuart Kettlewell admitted he was "surprised" by Rangers boss Philippe Clement's claims that one of his players was "kicked off the pitch" as the Motherwell manager hailed a heroic performance from his players in a famous 2-1 victory.

A 75th minute headed winner from Dan Casey saw the impressive Steelmen claim three points from Ibrox for the first time since 1997 after Theo Bair's early opener had been cancelled out by James Tavernier's second half penalty.

Clement felt aggrieved that no action was taken by referee Alan Muir against Casey for a tackle on Ross McCausland in the first half that left the youngster unable to continue. However, Kettlewell was adamant that he saw nothing wrong with the challenge.

"I don't see it as kicked off the pitch as such," he said "I've not seen a replay of the incident but at the time it was very close to me and Dan Casey looked 60-40 favourite, or maybe even more than that, to come through and get the ball. At the time I wasn't seeing anything. The referee doesn't even book him so it doesn't look as if there was a foul. He was first man to the ball clearly so I'm a wee bit surprised [by Clement's comments]."

Kettlewell was unhappy with the penalty decision which allowed Rangers to score their equaliser, with referee Muir initially waving play on following a challenge from Stephen O'Donnell on Fabio Silva before changing his mind after being summoned to the VAR monitor following a lengthy check.

"My intrigue is that it takes four minutes from the initial incident to the actual penalty award," the 'Well boss said. "When you watch it so many times and take four minutes to get to that decision to see a clear and obvious error from the referee? I'm asking the question. It doesn't look like a clear and obvious error to me. I think it's very much of the soft variety and I don't think we've had a penalty of that nature this season."

Kettlewell was overjoyed with the victory and the display from his team – coming just a week after running Celtic close at Fir Park – even more so after being informed that it was the first time Motherwell had won at Ibrox in the top flight in 27 years.

“I think that just shows what a monumental performance they put in out there today,” he said. “We were asked plenty of questions, we were put under the cosh. We had to go into what I call emergency defending in the dying embers. We know that you are going to have to go through all that to get something here – you are going to have to suffer. Of that there is no question.

“But I was really really pleased with how we started the game. We got ourselves ahead and showed a real composure to our play. We looked a threat at times.

“Even in the 2nd half where last week against Celtic I felt we had a tendency to drop off, We carried a threat and hit the woodwork. We had four brilliant scenarios where we isolated the last defender. When you come here that idea of just sitting in is never going to work. You need to carry a threat on the other side. That is what pleases me most."

2024-03-02T19:07:05Z dg43tfdfdgfd