Goal machine Mark Durnan has joked that he might be playing up front when Dundee United face Morton in the league on Saturday.
The central defender scored for the third time in four matches as the Tangerines secured a 1-0 victory over Dunfermline to book their place in today’s Irn-Bru Cup semi-final draw.
His shot on eight minutes wasn’t a thing of beauty, taking a few deflections on its way into the net.
Nevertheless, it proved to be the winner.
It enabled him to threaten his more attack-minded teammates that he might take their place at Cappielow.
“A few boys have been giving me stick and saying it was an own goal because it took a few deflections but I’ll take it!” said a smiling Durnan.
“It was nice to be able to put myself in that position to score the goal that won us the match and takes us into the semi-final.
“I was joking to Tony Andreu that he is under pressure now for me to take his position against Morton next weekend!”
Durnan revealed he was expecting to sit in the stand at East End Park as United boss Ray McKinnon made wholesale changes to his team.
He said: “I actually wasn’t meant to be playing but someone pulled out injured so the manager told me before the game that I would be starting.
“I think the gaffer wanted to freshen things up because we’ve got a couple of hard games coming up.
“I always prepare for matches anyway so I was ready.
“It was a lucky change, I suppose, because I managed to come in and help my team get to the semi-final.
“These things happen and I’m just glad we are through.
“Winning this cup would be good for the boys and it would help some of the younger ones kick on in their careers.
“People underestimate the competition but it is never a case of not wanting to win something.”
The Pars went down to 10 men just shy of the hour after Lewis Martin was sent off for pulling back United’s Blair Spittal.
They also had an injury-time penalty claim turned down by referee Willie Collum after United’s Coll Donaldson challenged home sub Farid El Alagui on the 18-yard line.
Dunfermline’s Rhys McCabe, though, still took some positives out of the match.
He said: “The spirit is still there and you saw that in the performance.
“We went down to 10 men but we showed character.
“We still tried to pass the ball.
“I think we were a bit hard done by.
“Whether it was a penalty or not, I think he (Donaldson) pulled Farid.
“If it were in any other position on the pitch it would have been given nine times out of 10. It was a definite foul.
“Farid is an honest man and there is no reason for him to lie.”