When you are going into a game against a side on a 65-game unbeaten run and with an average wage 18 times greater than your own club, you know that you are up against it. But when refereeing decisions go against you too?

Motherwell goalkeeper Trevor Carson couldn’t help but feel in the aftermath of his team’s controversial draw with Celtic on Wednesday evening that he wasn’t operating on a level playing field, and he wasn’t referring to the Fir Park slope.

Carson was outstanding as he kept the champions at bay throughout a thrilling encounter just three days after the sides met in the Betfred Cup final, with Scott Sinclair’s late leveller from the penalty spot the only way past the Northern Irishman.

But Carson was bemused by the circumstances surrounding the penalty award, as for the second time in two games, Motherwell felt a Celtic player had conned the match official as Callum McGregor went down under the challenge of Andy Rose.

“I had a great view,” said Carson. “What can you say? I haven’t seen it again and I don’t have to see it again.

“It’s one of them that happens 20 times in a game when two bodies come together in the box, defenders are shepherding the ball out or something like that, you see it all the time.

“The ref has decided to give it and the circumstances of how we’ve dropped the two points and not won the game are obviously disappointing.

“With Celtic’s budget and the players they have, they are miles ahead of anyone in this league, so it’s hard enough to beat them on a level playing field. Then when things like that go against you two games in a row it’s very frustrating.

“But we’re big boys. We’re obviously disappointed, but we’ll dust ourselves down. The papers will be full of it all about dubious decisions, but it’s not going to help us or get us the three points.

“We’ll use that as ammo to spur us on again like we did after Sunday for tonight.

“I’m not going to slaughter the ref, he’s made an honest decision. For me it is wrong, for him he might it’s right and I’m sure the Celtic players would say it is right. But it’s not going to change anything, so you’ve just got to accept it.”

“We’ll go again on Saturday, and we’ll have to take a lot of belief out of it.”

As the saying goes, familiarity breeds contempt, and there is sure to be an edge to the third meeting between the sides in six days when Motherwell travel to Celtic Park on Saturday.

On paper, travelling to the home of the champions looks the toughest assignment of the lot, but Carson says that the two previous meetings have allowed the men in claret and amber to get the measure of what they are up against.

“We’ve had a good look at them now, and that’s been good for players like me who have never played against Celtic,” he said.

“From the outside, before you play them, there’s a bit of a fear. But when you go up and play against them, they are very good players, of course they are, but so are we.

“We’ve got great belief in the team, and if anything, this will be the easiest of the three games.

“We’ve seen what they are all about, and you know what? We’ll fancy having a go at them.”