Motherwell manager Stephen Robinson has enough incentive to mastermind his team to a sensational win over Rangers in the Betfred Cup semi-final at Hampden tomorrow.

For the Fir Park club and their supporters, there is little doubt that it is one of their biggest games in some time, with it being over six years since they last graced such a stage.

It’s just not quite big enough to tear Robinson’s own father away from his usual weekend at the caravan to pop over from the emerald isle to witness it; he’ll have to get the Steelmen to the final for that.

“I’ve got family coming over,” said Robinson. “Everyone but my mum and dad. Dad is going up to the caravan in Portrush with my mum this weekend and he will be tuning into his wireless.

“He is not superstitious. He just prefers his caravan and doesn’t think the semi-final is a big enough occasion to fly over! He says he’s going to wait until the final. He will probably spend his weekend playing the slot machines.”

It may be the case that it is not only Robinson senior who is a little underwhelmed by the challenge of taking on Rangers, with the Motherwell boss also keen to play down any perceived gulf in quality between the sides.

In the past, some Motherwell fans have levelled the accusation at previous management teams that they have been too deferential to the opposition when approaching games such as this.

With Robinson at the helm though, you sense there is little chance of his side being beaten almost before a ball is kicked.

“There’s no danger of that at all,” he said. “How can I make the players believe in themselves? Simply tell them to keep doing what they are doing. If we do that we will compete as much as we possibly and then we will get the ball down and play.

“We are a well organised team and we know what Rangers’ strengths are. We will not underestimate the task facing us – but we are not frightened or daunted by it. We intend to match them.”

The rapid transformation in Motherwell’s fortunes after a summer of upheaval at the club has surprised even the man who oversaw the overhaul of the playing squad himself.

“We probably didn’t expect to be contesting a semi-final so soon if I’m totally honest, but I didn’t think we would be fighting relegation either, contrary to what the pundits had said.

“I can see why they thought that, because we signed a lot of new players and we’d been down the bottom of the table in the previous two seasons, so they have every right to say that.

“We’ve surpassed everyone’s expectations out of here, and we probably thought it would take longer too if we’re honest.

“But they’ve hit the ground running, they’ve bought into lots of ideas.”

And while Motherwell’s success thus far has been built around a solid team ethic, there is no doubt who the man Rangers will be fearing most in claret and amber will be tomorrow afternoon.

“I didn’t sign Louis Moult so I can’t take the credit for that, but he’s been a fantastic signing for this football club,” said Robinson.

“I believe it was £50,000 – which wasn’t paid up front I would imagine. It was probably paid up in 25 instalments of £2000.

“But Louis has been brilliant for us. He is a match-winner and I’m sure people will be fearful of him.”

Amid all the excitement engulfing Fir Park this week, Robinson took the time to acknowledge the unimaginable loss suffered by Terry Butcher, a man who used to occupy his office, whose son passed away on Monday.

“Terry has been in our thoughts this week,” he said. “He is a big personality and he did terrific here, and he has left a lot of good memories at this football club.

“It is a really sad time for Terry and his family right now. Our thoughts as a football club are very much with him. Nobody knows what they are going through right now and I can’t even pretend to imagine how it feels. If we can maybe ease some sort of pain then that would be superb.”