Jim Goodwin believes St Mirren can go all the way and lift the League Cup – and says his experience as a player shows it can be done.
Goodwin is preparing his players for their Hampden semi-final showdown with Livingston and says there is belief in the squad that they can prevail and then go a step further in the final.
“We have to have that mindset, and we do,” he said. We are confident in ourselves as a group that we’re capable of going all the way, as will Hibs, St Johnstone and Livingston.
“I listened to David Martindale’s interview after the game against Celtic and he is as positive and confident as I am, I think. It just shows you that there’s not a lot between the teams that are left in the competition.
“Hibs will obviously be favourites in everyone’s eyes because of where they are in the league table, the size of the club, and everything that goes with that. You probably could say that they’ve got the best squad left in the cup.
“But it doesn’t matter. Form goes out the window on the day.”
Saints are without a win in four games, while Livingston are unbeaten and on a remarkable run since Martindale took over. But Goodwin, captain of St Mirren when they lifted the trophy back in 2013, says knows not to read much into the form guide.
“Livingston are probably the form team in the league at the moment along with Rangers,” Goodwin said. “They might be favourites in a lot of people’s eyes before our game but I’ve been here before.
“I went into this game eight years ago off the back of a 4-1 league defeat to Ross County. We managed to knock Celtic out in the semi-final.
“League form doesn’t matter, it’s a one-off game and the team that plays to the levels they are capable of are the ones who will get through.”
Though fans won’t be at the national stadium on Sunday, they decorated the area around the SMISA Stadium with flags and scarves ahead of the game and Goodwin says their support was noted.
“Speaking to the staff and the players I know they all noticed it and they were all chatting about it at breakfast this morning,” he said. “It means a lot to them and it shows what it means to the town of Paisley.
“It’s a big occasion for everyone and we would like nothing more than to give them a cup final to look forward to.
“Nowadays players have had to get used to playing without any atmosphere and without supporters but the good thing about the modern day is social media. A number of our players are on Twitter or Instagram and I know that the supporters have that way of getting positive messages to them.
“It shows what it means to their fans watching at home.”