Keith Lasley has described the upcoming Scottish Cup final as the biggest match of his career – but he insists the only way to enjoy the occasion is to lift the trophy come full-time.
The veteran midfielder missed the Steelmen’s last appearance at a major Cup final – the 5-1 defeat to Rangers in the Co-operative Cup back in 2005 – during his brief sojourn to England so, despite being a regular at Motherwell for ten years, he has never played in a final.
But the 31-year old is making up for lost time now as he basks in the manic and anticipation-fuelled build-up to the Hampden showpiece.
“It’s definitely the biggest game of my career, by far,” Lasley enthused. “It’s the first final for me so it will be very special. I met Jim Griffin [’91 Cup winner] and he told me that his day was a blur in ’91 and that I should enjoy it. You try to take advice like that, but the only way you enjoy it is to go out and win it.
“European games are great but this is certainly well above anything that I’ve played in and it’s something I’m really looking forward to. I’ve been at this club for a very long time and I’ve seen some highs and some lows, but I think this will be the pinnacle.
“Our friends and family – and whole town of Motherwell will be there – but hopefully that’s a responsibility which drives us on and we can enjoy the match and play to our best and bring the Cup home.”
There is little doubt that ‘Well will travel to the national stadium as massive underdogs, but Lasley – like several other stars motherwellfc.co.uk has spoken to this week – has a real belief that the men in claret and amber can spring a shock.
Stuart McCall has used the last couple of weeks to allow some of the regulars in Motherwell’s mammoth 52-match season so far an opportunity to rest up.
That has led to somewhat scattered results, but it has allowed the Steelmen to approach the biggest match Lanarkshire has seen in 20 years with a fully fit squad, which is raring to give Celtic a real test.
“The gaffer has changed the team a little in the past few weeks’ a few of the boys have had bumps and bruises,” Lasley confirmed. “That rest has been important because I think we all know that to win the match we will all need to be at our best – 100%.
“You look around the town and see the bunting and it’s great, and it will only get more exciting as Saturday approaches. That ’91 team is an inspiration to us, and that is what we have got to aspire to. This opportunity doesn’t happen every year and hopefully it’s one we can take.”