The Europa League play-offs would be a major achievement – but Motherwell midfielder Mark O’Hara isn’t getting ahead of himself just now.

Stephen Robinson’s side are in Israel this evening as the Steelmen prepare for a third round Europa League qualifier against Hapoel Be’er Sheva.

Motherwell v Glentoran - UEFA Europa League: First Qualifying Round

Motherwell are in Israel. (Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images)

Having been favourites in first and second round ties against Northern Irish duo Glentoran and Coleraine, the narrative flips against Be’er Sheva. A team no stranger to European football, the hosts will be fancied to make it into the play-offs.

But Motherwell don’t mind being the underdog in any case. The Europa League group stage is just two games away and it would be massive for the Fir Park club to even reach the round before that, but the here and now must be take claret and amber priority for the time being.


“We have a couple of big games ahead of us, so we’ll take it one game at a time just now,” said O’Hara, “But it’s nice to dream and hopefully we will get it done.

Motherwell v Glentoran - UEFA Europa League: First Qualifying Round

Hoping for an upset. (Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images)

“We spoke about it the other day and to qualify for the next round would be right up there. We’ve both had good performances and a few results, but on Sunday it felt like something was really coming together, so long may that continue.

“This is the first time we’re probably seen as underdogs, in the last couple of Europa League games we’ve been probably the favourites and it has been frustrating more than anything.

“Teams have sat in and frustrated us, but we’ll be the underdogs going over there and I think that might suit us in a way. We will be very cautious with them going forward, so we will need a really well drilled, well disciplined performance.

“This is a bigger step up than what we’ve been playing in the last couple of rounds – no disrespect to the other teams – and it’s a big challenge, but I feel it suits us, going to play in those kind of games.

“The pressure is on the other team, that means we are just going to be able to go and play our own game. People might write us off going over there and not really expect anything from us, so we can go over there, stick to our game-plan and try to prove people wrong.”

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