We’ll wreck Celtic’s title party because we want to win, says Motherwell striker

Kevin van Veen says Motherwell will go all-out to beat Celtic today, and hopes he can spoil their title party.

The Dutch striker says it’s two form teams clashing head-on at Celtic Park as Motherwell come up against the newly-crowned Premiership champions.

But with a Europa Conference League place tucked away for next season, van Veen sees no reason why they can’t go to Glasgow looking for three points.

He said: “Playing against Celtic away, they’ve just won the league so it will be an amazing atmosphere. We’re on a high too after a good result against Hearts, so I think it will be a good game.

“They’re a very good team, but as we’ve shown in the last two games, we are very hard to beat as well, and we’ve got some resilience in us.

“Hopefully we can surprise people and finish off in style, because we’re going there to win.

Motherwell striker Kevin van Veen says his side head to Celtic Park looking for a win today

“It’s the last game of the season, so we can go all-out. After that we can enjoy a break, and then have something to look forward to next season.”

Van Veen added: “I don’t know about Motherwell, but I’m always the one who wants to spoil parties!

“Kidding aside, we go there and do our own thing, what we’ve been doing in the last two games, which has worked out very well for us.

“We’re going to go there, work hard for each other, and hopefully make it as hard as possible for Celtic to beat us. Hopefully we can score one or two there as well, to make it a good, competitive game.”

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How much of a part van Veen will be able to play tomorrow remains to be seen, as he struggles to recover from an illness that kept him out for parts of the wins over Ross County and Hearts.

Van Veen says Motherwell can go into the clash at Celtic with confidence
Van Veen says Motherwell can go into the clash at Celtic with confidence

Van Veen netted his 11th goal of the season with a penalty winner in Dingwall, and played the second half of the 2-1 win over Hearts on Wednesday, which sealed that European place.

He has told boss Graham Alexander that he wants to play against Celtic, but admits they may need to wait and see.

He said: “I’m slightly better, but still not the best.

“It’s still not out of my system. I didn’t feel good at all, I had high temperatures, and stayed in bed for over eight or nine days.

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“We made a decision, we sat around a table, the staff and myself, decided that I wasn’t good enough to start, and that I would hopefully be part of the team against Ross County.

“We hoped that I could come on and make a difference, obviously that happened, so that was a great feeling and it was worth it to travel all the way up there. I traveled separately.

“It was straight back to bed after that, then the Hearts game came along and I was no good for that either. Again I came on and we won the game with Ricki Lamie’s goal, so it was a great feeling for us, and for myself.

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“We needed those points.”

That all means Motherwell get to look forward to European football next season and van Veen admits that adds a bit of positivity to pre-season.

He said: “Everybody’s in a really good mood in the dressing room, just as everybody would be when we achieve something great.

“For this club and for the fans it’s an amazing feeling, and I think if we just missed out on something I think there would be that bitter feeling in pre-season of ‘we just didn’t make it’.

Motherwell are on a bit of form with back-to-back wins over Hearts and Ross County
Motherwell are on a bit of form with back-to-back wins over Hearts and Ross County

“I think it’s a great achievement, as a player group, but also the club and great for the fans.

“It’s what we set out to do. Everybody wants to be achieving something, you don’t want to play for nothing. I think everybody’s happy that we’ve done that.

“For me, personally, it’s good to have and I’m looking forward to being part of that next season.

“Hopefully we can surprise some people and get through to the next round.”

Van Veen shares a close bond with supporters, who have taken to him in a big way this season, and that hasn’t gone unnoticed.

Van Veen appreciates the special bond he shares with fans
Van Veen appreciates the special bond he shares with fans

He said: “Luckily enough in my career I always manage to do so. I don’t know why they like me that much, but it’s a great feeling, and I respect and appreciate it a lot that the fans see something in me.

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“I always want to repay them back with some creativity and flair, and get them from their seats as much as I can.

“It gives you that extra bit of feeling on the pitch when people are rooting for you and it’s good to have that bond with the fans.”

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George Holan

George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.

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