JIM GOODWIN admits that his St Mirren side are probably the outside choice to lift this season’s Betfred Cup – but he wouldn’t have it any other way.
The Buddies will make the short trip to Hampden tomorrow afternoon where they will face a stern test in David Martindale’s in-form Livingston side, where a victory would leave the Paisley outfit just 90 minutes away from repeating the feats of the 2013 side that won the tournament with Goodwin as captain.
Having knocked out Rangers in the previous round and eliminating Aberdeen in the one before that, the St Mirren boss insists that his side have already shown they have what it takes to cause an upset – and with the Buddies the least likely side to lift the League Cup according to the bookies, Goodwin admits he is relishing the opportunity of making the nay-sayers look foolish indeed.
“I’m absolutely delighted with that,” Goodwin said of his side being written off. “There’s nothing better than proving people wrong – I’ve certainly made a career out of it!
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“Our lads have shown the right attitude in this competition because nobody expected us to beat Aberdeen or Rangers but there’s no pressure on us now. I think the pressure’s on Hibs because of the expectations of their supporters.
“They’re the biggest club left at this stage and I think that Livingston must be the favourites to win against us on Sunday because of the great run of form they’ve been on – they have a better record than anyone in the country in the last ten games, including Rangers.
“They scored two goals against Celtic in midweek and kept a clean sheet at Parkhead last weekend and didn’t lose either game – and they’d won their previous eight.
“So Livingston are the team in the best form and Hibs are the biggest club and that makes us massive outsiders: I’ve no problem with that because we were massive outsiders in 2013 as well.”
With both Celtic and Rangers out the competition, Goodwin recognises that this year’s Betfred Cup represents a huge opportunity for someone outside of Glasgow’s big two to get their hands on silverware this term.
The Irishman says he has made it crystal clear to his players that chances like these don’t come around very often and has urged them to grasp the occasion firmly with both hands.
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Goodwin explained: “That’s been the message to the lads.
“Some of the younger lads, it’s about making them realise that these opportunities don’t come along every year.
“I had to wait a hell of a long time, myself, to get the opportunity in 2013. I was 31 going on 32.
“You don’t expect it at that age. And there are some older squad members in a similar position, thinking this might be their last opportunity.
“For the young lads, I want to stress that these days might come along once in your whole career.
“There are a hell of a lot of good footballers out there, guys with better careers than me, who have never gone on to win anything. So it’s a fantastic opportunity they’ve got.”