Brad McKay believes Falkirk have enjoyed a proper Scottish Cup adventure even though they could make it all the way to the final without facing a Premiership team.
The League One promotion-chasers will meet Championship side Inverness in the semi-final at Hampden on Saturday.
The Bairns’ cup journey began in November when they travelled to the extreme north of Scotland to face Wick before winning at Alloa and Darvel and then at home to Ayr in the quarter-finals.
“When you look back at where it started, it’s been a crazy journey,” defender McKay said. “We’ve been fortunate to avoid the bigger teams, but that’s the beauty of the Scottish Cup.
“We’ve not had the toughest run to get to a semi-final that you’ll ever see but you’ve still got to beat what’s in front of you.
“Our run started at Wick, which was a challenge in itself. We almost never made it there and back because the journey was over mountains. That was a scary journey. The pitch wasn’t great, it was on a slope.
“Then we went to Darvel and folk were thinking we were going to slip up because of what they did to Aberdeen, then we had Ayr here so we’ve not had any of the big six or anything like that.
“But you’ve still got to take care of what’s in front of you and we’ve done that and we find ourselves in the semi-final with our best chance of getting to the final because we avoided the Old Firm. Both ourselves and Inverness will be delighted with the draw.
“Anything can happen in the Scottish Cup. We could be in the final against one of the Old Firm, then you never know what could happen.”
Although Falkirk are a league below Inverness, McKay is adamant his side will not be going to Hampden with an inferiority complex.
“I think we were underdogs against Ayr, and they were sitting above Inverness at the time we played them,” he said, recalling his side’s 2-1 quarter-final victory over Championship opposition.
“It feels like a 50-50 game and I think that’s why it’s exciting for both sides. They’re in the league above us but I know they wouldn’t take us lightly. Both sides will feel they can get to the final.”
McKay spent five years with Inverness before moving to Falkirk in 2021, but the 30-year-old insists sentiment will not come into play this weekend.
“I feel fine about playing my old team,” he said. “My mum asked me the same question. She doesn’t know too much about football but she said, ‘What’s it going to be like going up against your friends?’ But it’s fine.
“Once you get over that white line, you don’t really think about it too much. There are 11 other players trying to beat you to the final. They stand in the way between you and a Scottish Cup final so friendship goes out the window.
“It will be a case of wishing them all the best before the game if I see them then going out and trying to get a victory.”