Andy Considine hopes his heroics to help Aberdeen through to the quarter-final of the Scottish Cup was just a small step on the way to lifting the trophy.
The Dons’ bid to win the competition for the first time in 30 years is still alive after Wednesday’s unbelievable 4-3 fifth round replay success against Kilmarnock at Rugby Park.
The Reds showed remarkable resilience and character to come from 1-0 behind in normal time and 3-2 down in extra-time to progress.
Considine had as a big a role as anybody. The defender netted Aberdeen’s first equaliser in the 89th minute and it was his cross that Connor Johnson turned into his own net in the 121st minute, sending the Dons through.
Since making his debut for Aberdeen in 2004, the Pittodrie youth academy graduate has come so close so often to winning the Scottish Cup.
The 32-year-old played in the final loss to Celtic three years ago, as well as semi-final losses in 2008 to Queen of the South, in 2014 to St Johnstone, in 2018 to Motherwell and last term against the Hoops.
When asked if he believes this can be the season he adds to his 2014 League Cup winners’ medal, Considine said: “I hope so because opportunities are running out.
“Football can change so you just never know how many opportunities you will get. I turn 33 next month.
“If we were to get to a final this year and potentially lift the cup it would be fantastic.
“It’s a dream as a player to lift the cup. That’s why you play football. Fingers crossed this could be the year.
“It was a huge result for us. You could hear the boos coming off at half time. It wasn’t good enough and we knew something had to change.
“We have done it the hard way but hopefully we have put a bit of a smile back on the fans’ faces.
“A lot of them turned out and it doesn’t go unnoticed.”
Considine was disappointed that Aberdeen failed to fire in the first half, but felt after the break the importance of the game showed as Derek McInnes’ side battled back.
He added: “This was almost a season definer for us. It took us until the second half to show that.
“There was very little speed in our play in the first half but the second was far more like us, getting balls in the box and creating opportunities.
“It takes us until the last kick of the ball to go to extra time. We started that on fire with Matty’s goal but Killie have been a thorn in our side for many a year and they kept going.
“Lewis Ferguson grabs the game by the scruff of the neck, gets a penalty and we manage to win it at the death.
“But it was far more like us second half onwards and was a never-say-die attitude.”
After Wednesday’s victory, McInnes compared Considine to Manchester United and Wales legend Ryan Giggs for his part in Aberdeen’s winning goal.
The stopper scampered down the left wing and fired in a cross which Killie’s Johnson diverted into the net.
Considine said: “I should have celebrated like him and taken my shirt off! (Referencing Giggs’ celebration after scoring the winner for Manchester United in the 1999 FA Cup semi-final against Arsenal.)
“Once Dean (Campbell) looked up I knew the ball was coming.
“I have got the ball across the goal and I’ve known if I get decent connection there’s every chance it will take a ricochet of some sort.
“The relief you could see in the boys and the fans – it’s a massive, massive result for us.
“As a whole squad we are going through a rough patch. The last three games including this we have really shown what Aberdeen can do.
“Key players like big Sam (Cosgrove) getting his goal is going to help. He has needed that.
“Shay (Logan) was back to himself and young Dean was so composed when he came on.
“We have a fantastic squad and we just need to get back on the rails.”
Considine also wants the midweek cup victory to be the catalyst for improved Premiership form as the Dons look to pull away from Motherwell to secure third spot in the league and Europa League qualification for the seventh straight season.
He said: “I feel we should not be out of sight of Motherwell but if we played like we are now we would have been.
“If we can continue this form and confidence and ruthlessness in front of goal we will finish third and get a good run in the cup.”