Keith Lasley is hoping to take the first step to becoming a Motherwell legend with a victory over old foes Dundee Utd at Tannadice on Sunday.
The encounter is a repeat of the famous cup final of 20 years ago, last time the men in claret and amber lifted the World’s oldest national trophy – a fact which won’t be lost on the Steelmen fans travelling to Tayside.
Lasley, a Motherwell stalwart of over ten years, knows better than most the symbolism of a cup tie against Dundee United and he is desperate to emulate the heroes of 1991 against the in-form Arabs.
“The cup is special at this club, especially when you come up against Dundee United,” the 31-year old confirmed. “There are still a few people who played that day in ‘91 and a lot of people who were involved in some capacity.
“So you still hear about that game and everybody remembers the way it went – and being at this club for so long I know that is what we have to aim for.
“Rangers and Celtic tend to dominate domestic competitions and it’s usually one of them who lifts the cup, but Dundee United changed that last year and if you get to this stage then you’ve got a chance.
“We’ve got a very difficult tie – it could hardly have been tougher than trying to beat Dundee United away as they are in a great vein of form.”
The Steelmen have already had the opportunity to strut their stuff at Hampden this season, with the narrow defeat to Rangers in the Co-operative Insurance Cup and Lasley, even as one of the more experienced heads in a youthful ‘Well lineup, is excited about the prospect of another visit to the national stadium – describing the prospect as ‘a dream’.
The former Plymouth man continued: “First and foremost, from a player’s point of view, getting into another semi-final is a great chance.
“We’ve had a taste this season with the League Cup semi and we’re desperate to get back there in the Scottish Cup. Looking at Hampden, there’s nothing better, and all the players – although we lost in the end – thoroughly enjoyed the experience last time out.
“The build up to the game was very special as playing in semi-finals and finals is what you dream about and, for a club like Motherwell who don’t get there too often, hopefully this year could be the year for us.”
Lasley, who scored the equalising goal against Rangers in Motherwell’s last visit to Hampden in January, can perhaps attribute a little of his enthusiasm to the fact he is creeping back towards full fitness.
He has been bravely playing through the pain barrier recently, with the help of painkillers – but his bruised ribs are now beginning to heal…permitting any ‘dunts’ at Tannadice.
“I’m feeling a bit better this last week, I’m starting to settle down a bit now – though I’m still taking the odd painkiller before matches.” he confirmed. “Hopefully in the next couple of weeks I’ll have forgotten all about it [the bruised ribs].”
“You feel it if you get another wee dunt on it or if there’s some contact then you start to feel it. But it’s a lot better than it was. When you’ve got an injury it sometimes seems like you seem to get a few hits on it but, as I say, it’s miles better than it was.”