Ask any Dundee United fan, given the choice, would they rather finish seventh or win the Scottish Cup? They would pick the latter every single time.
Starting with the visit of Partick Thistle to Tannadice today, United have the opportunity to do something special and, for me, they should be throwing everything at it.
Missing out on the top six and with Premiership relegation highly unlikely with the Terrors on 39 points in eighth spot, all they really have left to play for is the cup.
Of course, the financial rewards and pride of finishing best of the rest post-split isn’t insignificant.
However, for fans, a subset starved of football this past year, it doesn’t mean a great amount.
Particularly for Arabs.
They are used to watching Tangerines teams of days gone by lifting trophies and making forays into Europe.
If those days are to return to Tannadice in the not-so-distant future, the quickest route Micky Mellon’s men can take to reach their destination is lifting silverware at Hampden in May.
Not only would United get their day in the sun, they would also get a free pass into the Europa League play-off round.
That could bring with it a trip to the far flung reaches of Eastern Europe, the Baltic, Eurasia, perhaps?
In the here and now, the locale is far less exotic as the Jags head for the City of Discovery today.
It could be the start of something special for United but Ian McCall’s men won’t go down without a fight.
Albeit they are sitting fourth in League One, harbouring promotion ambitions, they could be a prickly foe for the Terrors.
They aren’t the club they once were and have only just returned to the pitch after an enforced two-month break because of the coronavirus, but any team managed by McCall is likely to have a bit about them.
Certainly, they are backing themselves to head east and attempt to pull off a shock.
Personally, I can’t see it happening.
United will simply have too much quality for them and should run out comfortable winners in the end and progress to the last 16.
It may take the Tangerines a while to adjust to the match, given they won’t have been used to being the favourites and having the lion’s share of the ball much in the top flight this term.
Patience will indeed be a virtue for the Terrors to break down the Maryhill men’s rearguard but once they, hopefully, do, it should give confidence to a goal-shy side.
For the likes of Lawrence Shankland, Nicky Clark, Marc McNulty and Louis Appere, bagging one or two today may just be the boost they need to carry some scoring form into their bottom-six fixtures.
The two can, therefore, exist hand-in-hand, but Dundee United – Scottish Cup winners definitely has more of a ring to it than Dundee United – finished seventh, eh?
Clubs like St Johnstone give hope to us all – followers of ‘diddy teams’.
As a St Mirren fan, I’ve forgiven the Perth Saints (eventually) for stealing ‘our’ place in the top six this season.
In fact, I’ve even come to develop a sort of admiration.
Not only has he secured a top-half finish, boss Callum Davidson brought silverware back to McDiarmid Park in the form of the Betfred Cup.
Another episode I won’t be going into any further as a fervent Buddy.
Dundee, who take on the Saintees in the Scottish Cup third round at Dens Park today, are a club starved of success and should be taking inspiration from their Tayside neighbours.
They’ve shown there is a path for clubs outwith the might of the Old Firm and the traditional bigger teams like Aberdeen, Hearts, Hibs and Dundee United.
For that reason, this afternoon is about more than a game of football.
Of course, James McPake’s Dark Blues will be doing everything in their power to make it into the hat for the next round.
However, it is also about the Dee measuring themselves against what is, undoubtedly, top-quality Premiership opposition.
A solid performance, win or lose, would bode well for the remainder of the league campaign and Dundee’s quest for promotion.
Maybe I’m showing my age, but I can’t get my head around the negativity surrounding the Scotland national team at the moment.
By my age I mean my youth, of course. I just can’t comprehend a lot of the things I’m reading about Steve Clarke’s team.
I was only five for France 1998 and have never known anything but failure following the Scots.
Under Clarke, however, we have a major finals in the summer to look forward to and sit second in our World Cup qualifying group.
I, and many others, have never known a period like it – a period of success!
Long may it continue.