Dundee’s Paul McGowan admits the club are long overdue cup success – and that is something he wants to put right, starting tomorrow against Aberdeen at Dens.
The midfielder previously won the League Cup when he was at St Mirren with the Buddies beating Hearts 3-2 in the 2013 final.
To get to the showpiece occasion, the Paisley side had to overcome Celtic as well as Aberdeen.
Now, as the Dark Blues prepare for their Betfred Cup last 16 tie with the Dons, McGowan is desperate to achieve something similar.
When asked if a cup run was well overdue for Dundee, the 31-year-old said: “Yes, it is. We are due another cup run.
“There is nothing better and I was involved in one myself with St Mirren.
“What a day it was for the club and Paisley itself.
“I was surprised with how big it ended up being. People might say it is just the League Cup but it is still a big competition in Scottish football.
“We want to go and try to win it, to get to a cup final.
“There is no better feeling than doing that and if we don’t see that as an end goal, then we shouldn’t be playing.”
McGowan added: “Dundee is obviously a lot bigger than Paisley.
“But when we won it I was surprised how many turned out. I felt like saying to them, ‘Where have you all been every week?’!
“But seriously, it was great to see so many families out supporting St Mirren.
“Doing the parade after and seeing so many happy people out on the street was great.
“It would be an unbelievable thing if Dundee could get to a cup final but listen, we have a long way to go and have a big obstacle in the shape of Aberdeen to overcome first.”
The Dons will travel south still licking their wounds after their Europa League exit to Croatian side Rijeka.
They lost the away leg 2-0 last week, were then beaten by St Mirren in the Premiership on Sunday before Rijeka won the second leg 2-0 on Thursday night at Pittodrie.
However, McGowan rejected the suggestion that all the pressure would be on Derek McInnes’s side on Sunday.
He said: “No, not really. They were 2-0 down so it was always going to be a hard ask for them to progress.
“They don’t lose that many games under Derek McInnes.
“He has always had a good team who are tough to beat so I don’t think Thursday night will have any bearing on Sunday.
“He will probably freshen his team up with a few changes but they have quality right throughout their squad so whoever comes in we know they will give us a hard game.
“They will be favourites and rightly so considering where they have finished in the Premiership in the last few years.
“But we just need to treat it like any other game and believe we can win.
“Anything can happen in these games. It is a good chance for us to get into the quarter-finals so it is all to play for.
“If we go in with the same way we have approached every match so far this season we will give them a game.
“We just need to approach the game in the right manner.
“I am sure they will show us the respect we deserve as we will do to them.”
Dundee have kept a remarkable five clean sheets in the six competitive games they have played so far this season.
And McGowan admits that is in sharp contrast to what has happened in previous years at the club.
He said: “It is a new team and we are still finding our feet a little.
“It is going to be a long, hard season for us because every team will try that extra bit harder to take the scalp of Dundee, one of the favourites for the league.
“It is going to be a battle but we showed on Saturday against Ayr that we will be hard to beat and kept another clean sheet.
“I have always said if you keep a clean sheet you will win games.
“It has taken six years since I first came here to find that quality.
“I don’t think we have ever had this many clean sheets. It is not just the back four, I think we have done it as a team.
“We want to defend and have pride in not conceding which I think speaks volumes for the players.
“Some of the goals we have conceded in the past have been nothing short of schoolboy stuff.”