Stuart McCall keeps lid on Motherwell celebrations

McCall congratulates midfielder Steve Jennings at Tynecastle
McCall congratulates midfielder Steve Jennings at Tynecastle

Stuart McCall is working hard to keep the lid on celebrations after a 1-0 win over Hearts took Motherwell closer to a Champions League qualifying spot.

Dundee United must beat Rangers on Wednesday, Celtic on Sunday then Well on the final day of the season to overtake McCall's side.

"I've said to the boys, there are no celebrations yet," said McCall.

"Having said that, if Dundee United manage to win the three games then they will deserve to finish third."

McCall was delighted with his side's display, despite Hearts having the better of the game at Tynecastle.

"It is an outstanding result and performance," the manager told BBC Scotland.

"I said before the game we would have to defend well and work hard because of the quality they've got in the ranks.

"First half, we played some good stuff. Second half, it wasn't so much backs to the wall as I don't think big Darren's had a lot to do in the goal, but we certainly play as well as we would have liked.

"But sometimes it's not about silky football, it's grit and determination.

"I said before the game we would settle for a 1-0 and it ended up being that."

McCall will be Ibrox to see United in action ahead of his own side's weekend trip to face Rangers.

"We've got to go to Ibrox on Saturday and put in the same level of commitment," he said.

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Interview: Motherwell manager Stuart McCall

"We've been poor there over the last few years and we want to improve on that.

"But hopefully, after tomorrow's game, we might be there."

Meanwhile, although Leeann Dempster points out that Motherwell have not yet secured third place, the club's chief executive was relishing the prospect of the club entering the Champions League at the third qualifying round.

"Assuming we are fortunate enough to get there, it's not quite a game-changer for us, but certainly it would be a fantastic experience," she said.

"Obviously, from a financial perspective, it's good for the club, a great opportunity to bring some cash in and, moreover, a great experience for the players, the manager and the supporters as well.

"The third qualifying round, the prize money is 140,000 Euro, which is not too shabby."

A large crowd and possible television coverage would also increase the club's finances and Dempster insisted that Motherwell deserve to qualify despite being the beneficiaries of second-top Rangers being ineligible for being in administration.

"We've got a small squad and the boys have worked hard all season, a great management team," Dempster added.

"We've been quite lucky with injuries and some might say we are lucky to be in this position, but I don't think so. I think we've worked hard to get here."

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