Motherwell: Manager Stuart Kettlewell backs Liam Kelly to 'acquit himself' as Scotland's number one
Kelly will battle it out with fellow uncapped goalkeepers Zander Clark and Angus Gunn after Steve Clarke declared there was "all to play for" in the race to replace the injured Craig Gordon.
Kettlewell is sure his 27-year-old captain would be a safe pair of hands for Scotland when they begin their Euro 2024 qualifying campaign against Cyprus and Spain later this month. "I'd have absolutely no doubt that he would acquit himself really, really well," he said. "I didn't know Liam particularly well at all before coming to the football club but everything I have seen of him in terms of his performance, how he handles himself as a captain, and as a professional, is first class. "I think he would be the type of lad that would relish that opportunity. "It's an interesting situation because I don't think any of us know who will get that number-one spot. "We have a guy here who is a massive influence that I'm sure would rise to that challenge." Kelly has the chance to further his case when Motherwell host Rangers in a televised cinch Premiership encounter on Saturday. Motherwell have taken 10 points from four matches under Kettlewell but the manager knows they will have to adapt their tactics and mentality. Kettlewell, who has some unnamed fitness concerns, said: "Potentially, what we have to choose from and the players that we have to select, I can see there being a slight change in approach. "But it doesn't mean we can't be positive when we have possession of the ball. "I always think when you play against the big two, there has to be a real mental toughness because you know at times they can have long periods on the ball. "If you start to feel sorry for yourself and start to switch off, that's when bad things can happen to you. "That's been a real clear message this week, to actually enjoy spells when you don't have the ball because I think that can make you, one, difficult to play against, but also makes you maximise the opportunities you get when you've got the ball."
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