Joining Maurice Malpas and Andy Webster as Dundee United Scottish Cup-winning captains is a dream Mark Reynolds is trying to keep in check.
The United skipper isn’t getting ahead of himself as they prepare to take on Hibs in the semi-final at Hampden today.
For all he would love to join 1994 legend Malpas and 2010 hero Webster in the Tannadice history books, Reynolds knows there’s plenty work to be done before he can start thinking about lifting silverware.
Regardless, the defender is proud to have the opportunity to lead the Tangerines out at the national stadium this afternoon and is fully focused on putting in a performance that secures a showpiece showdown with St Mirren or St Johnstone.
‘I think you always dream of lifting the cup’
“There’s always huge pride in representing any club and stepping out at Hampden,” the 34-year-old said.
“There’s even more when you are captain and have the honour of leading the team out.
“It’s a massive source of pride for me personally.
“You just want to go out there and put in a good performance – one we all know we are more than capable of – to try and get us that victory which would put us 90 minutes away from winning a major trophy.
“I think you always dream of lifting the cup. As a player, you always want that success.
“For me, the way I’ve always been, I don’t let myself get too far ahead.
“You dream when you are a young boy. Once you start playing, it becomes a job and a reality that you might actually have the chance to do it.
“Then you remember that you really need to focus on the next game.
“Too many times I think teams and players have got caught up dreaming about lifting the trophy when they are so close and they fall at the last hurdle.
“So while it is a dream of mine and something I’ve always wanted to do, my focus just now is only on performing in the semi-final and getting to a final to be 90 minutes closer to realising that dream.”
Favourite tags go out the window for Reynolds against familiar foe Hibs
Despite the Hibees being six places and 17 points ahead of United in the Premiership standings, centre-half Reynolds says favourite tags mean nothing.
The Terrors are prepared and confident of progessing.
He added: “In terms of cup football, I think favourites tags often go out the window.
“We saw that in the round before and previous ones – it’s who turns up on the day, who executes their game plan, who puts what they practiced the week before into motion and gets it done.
“Hibs have had a great season but we’ll go in confident. We only really focus on ourselves and what we can affect on the pitch.
“We’ve worked all week. We’ve got a game plan that we’ll try and execute and if we do that we feel as if we’ve got more than enough to get to the final.”
The two teams met in the fourth round last season, with the Terrors a Championship outfit at the time.
It ended 2-2 at Tannadice before Hibs won the replay 4-2 at Easter Road.
That they forced a second game in Edinburgh is enough to suggest, for Reynolds, that in cup football anyone can come out on top.
“We took them to a replay after drawing the first game,” he recalled.
“Again, it was a tight game although that (Christian Doidge) hat-trick made to look as though they dominated but we were in it for long periods.
“That was very much a team in development, a team of boys who were still a bit wary of what the Premiership was like.
“There was still that unknown whereas now we’ve competed it’s season and have more than acquitted ourselves well.
“We know that on our day we’re a match for anybody. We learned a lot from that.
“It was a huge stepping-stone for us an a big eye opener for a lot of the boys.
“We now know we are good enough to be at that level and to compete.
“The result didn’t go for us on that day but we feel as though now we are in a position where we can go and get a result.”
‘The four teams left will all feel as though they’ve got a great chance of winning it and we’re no different’
With the Old Firm out of the reckoning, Reynolds reckons the competition has been blown wide open for any of the four remaining teams to get their hands on the Scottish Cup.
The former Aberdeen and Motherwell man will be doing everything in his power to ensure it’s his mitts clutching silverware in a fortnight’s time.
However, he believes the Terrors will need a little luck along the way to make that dream a reality.
“It’s opened up,” Reynolds said.
“You can be as good as you want but you need that wee bit of luck sometimes to have your name on the cup.
“Our performances in the first couple of rounds weren’t great, and even then you hear people say that they are the performances that you need to get yourself to the final or win a trophy.
“You need that slice of luck and with the Old Firm going out, the four teams left will all feel as though they’ve got a great chance of winning it and we’re no different.
“We’re looking forward to going out at Hampden and putting on a good performance, a performance we know we’re capable of, and trying to win the game that would take us that bit closer to winning a trophy.”
For Reynolds, a repeat performance from their 3-0 quarter-final win at Aberdeen would go a long way to securing United’s spot in the final.
He continued: “That’s our mind-set. We know we’re capable of that and we spoke after that game and said that is the benchmark that we need to try to hit every game.
“The performance dipped again after that in the league and we spoke about the reasons for that but we know there’s a performance like the one we had at Pittodrie in us and any team in Scotland would struggle against that.
“We can only impact what we can do on the pitch and that’s what we’ve worked on all week.
“It gives us a bit more confidence knowing that we had a performance like that recently and we know we can hit those levels and fight and scrap for every ball.
“We’re looking forward to it and we’ll go out and do our best to replicate that or even put in a better performance over the 90 minutes.”