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Final will be a real family affair for Dundee United skipper

Sean Dillon with the League Cup.
Sean Dillon with the League Cup.

Sean Dillon is hoping the fact his family will all be in attendance at Hampden for Sunday’s League Cup Final is a good omen for him and Dundee United.

Some of his nearest and dearest have missed out for one reason or another for his two previous Scottish Cup Finals, against Ross County in 2010 and last season’s meeting with St Johnstone.

This time though, they will all be in attendance, including wife Michelle who is due to give birth to the couple’s second child in what is shaping up as an incredibly-hectic two weeks of the popular Irishman’s life what with another three games with Celtic to be negotiated.

Dillon said: “I’ve got my mum, dad and auntie coming over. My mum’s staying on because I’ve a baby coming in two weeks.

“My missus is booked in on the 25th. She’s going to the game, along with Shea, my four-year-old.

“She’s getting her section on the Wednesday morning. It’s some fortnight I’ve got coming up. I think Paul Dixon is in the same boat.

“Hopefully we’ll be happy. We’ve family booked in for the next month or so after that.

“It would be nice to have a double celebration but I’ll concentrate on the football first and foremost.

“My parents missed 2010 because my sister was due. My mum stayed at home with her and my dad couldn’t get time off from the army.

“The same happened to him for the St Johnstone game, but my mum was over with my sister and niece. This time they will all be here so maybe that’s a good omen.”

Dillon was at the heart of the United defence during Sunday’s controversial Scottish Cup draw at Tannadice against Celtic.

He admitted he was just relieved to still be in the tournament after the Tangerines had been reduced to nine men.

Dillon: I’m happy to still be in the cup. It was a strange game, a bit wild at times. I thought we were going to hold out but unfortunately we couldn’t. We were let them in and they took advantage of that.

“Thankfully we stuck at it and we’ve got another chance.

“We rode our luck at times. I thought Rado (keeper Cierzniak) had an excellent game, made some great saves when we needed him.

“I really thought we were going to hold out, but they got that goal and after that people may have thought we would have folded but we didn’t.

“It’s (the League Cup Final) going to be tough, there’s no surprise there but I think we showed that we are capable of having a right go.”

Dillon admitted he had not had a chance to look back at TV footage of last Sunday’s contentious game so he was surprised when he was asked about team-mate Nadir Ciftci appearing to kick out at Scott Brown after the Turk was tackled by the Celtic skipper.

Dillon said: “I didn’t realise anything had happened, so we’ll just need to see.

“Nadir is a great guy. I have a great relationship with him and as far as football is concerned he is a special player.

“Yeah, he can be a bit fiery at times but you get that in good and bad players. You want to see it bring out the best in him and putting on great performances.

“If he reacts in training and in games, and has a bit of a hot temper, that’s fine. There’s been a lot of players in the past who you’ve been reluctant to take the aggression out of.

“You might lose something from them. He is a confident guy and he stepped up in a high pressure situation on Sunday.

“You are always confident he can do something special.”

When asked if the United players could use the disappointment of losing last year’s Scottish Cup Final as a positive for Sunday’s game, Dillon said: “You can use it but if we’d won last year I wouldn’t be going into this game any differently.

“You can use it like that but, personally, I think you want to win every cup final regardless of whether you’ve won or lost the last one.”

Dillon, of course, knows what it feels like to win a final having done so in the Scottish Cup with United in 2010.

He admitted the experience is one that will live with him forever.

He said: “It was class. The lads don’t really talk about it too much. It’s one of the best experiences I’ve had.

“I was lucky enough to win the cup a couple of times back home, and that was on a lesser scale given it was a part-time club.

“Those were still great memories but what we did in 2010 was huge. You understand how much it means to the fans anyway, but to get the turnout we did the day after the cup final definitely gives you a buzz to go and do it again.”

Celtic very much have their sights set on a domestic treble and with the league title pretty much in the bag, only United can derail their dream.

However, Dillon insists all he is concentrating on is his side trying to lift both cups.

He added: “They have talked about the treble but if they weren’t people would be asking why not. People can say it’s up to us to stop it but we are not seeing it that way.

“The league is probably gone for us but it’s a chance for us to win two trophies.

“They are trying to win three and they will be doing their best but it’s simple for both sides.

“Every side left in the cups will be thinking it’s a great chance to win silverware and will be doing everything to take advantage having come this far.

“Celtic are a confident team and they should be confident.

“They’re top of the table and in both cups so they should be confident but I believe we’ve got players that can hurt any team on their day. That gives us confidence.

“We’ve got a lot of talent in the team and, going forward, hopefully the lads will do the business for us.”