Livingston boss David Martindale admits he has had a dream start to management and says it would be “unbelievable” if his team could go on to win the Betfred Cup.
A 1-0 win over St Mirren in the semi-final has set up a date with St Johnstone at the end of February, with Livi looking to add another incredible moment from a memorable season.
Scott Robinson’s early goal separated the sides at Hampden and Martindale said he was overjoyed with the victory.
“I’m just absolutely delighted for the people at the club, the community and the fans,” he said. “It’s been a horrendous year for everybody and if I can give a bit of positivity to the fans then I’m absolutely delighted.”
Martindale stepped up as caretaker manager after Gary Holt’s departure and is unbeaten in 11 games, with two draws against Celtic and a cup semi-final win in the last eight days. He admitted things had gone even better than he could have imagined.
“If you had asked me at the start when I took over as caretaker manager I would probably have said it would be good to win the next two or three games,” he said.
“I never thought I would be sitting here 11 games undefeated and looking forward to the league cup final.
“I think it’s been a collective effort. Obviously I’ve played a part in that. I’m a small cog in a big machine. All the coaching staff and players have played their part and it’s been a real collective effort there.”
Now the manager will start building towards the final on February 28, knowing his side have an opportunity to deliver what would only be the club’s second national cup win.
“It would be unbelievable [to lift the trophy],” he said. “Every since I’ve come to the club everyone talks about the cup-winning team from 2004.
“Hopefully we can go on and emulate that and the boys can go down in history as well.
“I’ve got a good group in that changing room and hopefully they can go on to become legends.”
Defeated St Mirren manager Jim Goodwin said his players gave the game their all but came out second-best in a close-fought encounter.
“We are all bitterly disappointed and, as you can imagine, the guys are extremely low in the dressing room,” he said.
“There’s a few boys lying on the floor, there’s been tears and real frustration at how the game panned out. We all feel as if it’s a missed opportunity.
“The first half was quite a nervy affair, I don’t think there was a great deal of football being played.
“The second half, we asked them to go out there and play a bit more like the team they have shown in recent games. I think the players can be proud of what they put into that second half, we threw absolutely everything at Livingston.
“We had a couple of half-chances, (Conor) McCarthy has had one cleared off the line, another couple of little opportunities, but in fairness to Livingston, I thought they defended brilliantly.”