Motherwell now a tougher opponent for Celtic - Carl McHugh

Motherwell captain Carl McHugh with the Scottish League Cup
Carl McHugh missed out against Celtic last season through injury and suspension
Scottish League Cup final: Motherwell v Celtic
Venue: Hampden Park, Glasgow Date: Sunday 26 November Kick-off: 15:00 GMT
Coverage: BBC Radio Scotland 810MW & live text on BBC Sport website

Captain Carl McHugh says Celtic will be facing a different breed of Motherwell compared to last season when they meet in Sunday's Scottish League Cup final.

Celtic beat Mark McGhee's side four times last season but have yet to face them since Stephen Robinson took over as manager at Fir Park.

"There's been a complete change in the mindset," said midfielder McHugh.

"And the gaffer has got to take credit for that with the players he has brought in and the mindset in general."

Most of the current side will be facing the Scottish champions for the first time, including McHugh, who missed out through injury and suspension.

"Last year, we would have been delighted to go to Aberdeen and nick a point," he said in reference to warming up for Hampden with a 2-0 win at Pittodrie against the side sitting second in the Premiership.

"We went on Saturday and we were fully expecting to win the game.

"That's a shift in the mindset and I think you have seen that in the results and the performances."

Motherwell also beat the Dons, plus Ross County and Rangers, on the way to the final and McHugh says that gives them confidence that they can deny Celtic a fourth consecutive domestic trophy.

"We're not going there for a day out or to make up the numbers," said the 24-year-old Irishman.

"We have worked really hard to get to this stage. We have played a lot of games in the cup, going back to the group stages in July, and came through tough games since.

"We don't want a day out. We want to go and win the cup."

Carl McHugh clears for Bradford City in the 2014 English League Cup final
McHugh was in the losing Bradford City side in the 2014 English League Cup final

McHugh is not letting his mind drift to the implications of ending Celtic's 64-match unbeaten domestic run or becoming the first Motherwell player to lift silverware since Tom Boyd in 1991.

"What we have done all season is focus on what we can control - and that's the key aspects of our performance," said the midfielder, who joined Well after leaving Plymouth Argyle last year.

"When we do what we are good at and play to our strengths, we have won a lot of games this season and we will approach this game like we've done the other ones.

"It will be brilliant if we do it, but all we are worrying about is the performance and what we can do."

McHugh has already played in a League Cup final, when he took two busloads of family and friends to Wembley for Bradford City's meeting with Swansea City in 2013.

He has not had to source as many tickets for Hampden.

"It's just my family and my girlfriend's mum and dad," added McHugh.

"There were 111 tickets that time, so it's nothing like that, thank God.

"That was a nightmare. I don't know I managed. Half of Donegal was there.

"I just wanted to make sure everyone who wanted to get a ticket got one.

"They all had a good day anyway. We got beat 5-0, but they had a good day."

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