The clock is ticking for Aberdeen stalwart Andy Considine.
The long-serving Dons defender knows his hopes of getting his hands on the Scottish Cup are shortening with each passing season and with this season taking Aberdeen’s wait to win the national trophy to 30 years Considine’s desperation for success is growing.
The Dons travel to Kilmarnock tonight for a fifth round replay and while he is dreaming of a return to Hampden the Aberdeen defender is reluctant to look any further than the trip to Rugby Park.
He said: “Winning the Scottish Cup is one of the few unfulfilled ambitions I have at Aberdeen and I’m not getting any younger.
“It’s my 33rd birthday at the start of April and that obviously means that there can’t be all that many chances left for me now.
“Hopefully this can be the year that wait can end for me and the club given that it’s 30 years since we won it.
“Obviously Aberdeen have a great history in the competition in the past and it would be great to get back to that.
“But we will treat the Kilmarnock replay like it’s the cup final because we need to stay in the competition.
“It’s massive for us given the way our league form has been at the minute as and it would spur us on for the rest of the season.
“I feel we would be good enough to get through the next round as well if we win this one and it is massive for the fans as well.”
Since making his debut in the 2003-04 campaign Considine has enjoyed the pride that comes with representing his home city in a cup final and the pain of being on the receiving end of a cup shock.
Hampden heartaches are aplenty in various forms and is clear he would love nothing more than to forge a lasting, glorious one to look back on long after he retires.
He said: “It would have been nice to have gone that one step further and actually won the cup.
“The Celtic final three years ago stands out as the one that leaves a real lump in your throat.
“We were the closest we’ve come in my time here as we took them to the last few minutes before Tom Rogic hit the late winner.
“That final could have gone either way on the day so that was really tough to take having been so near.
“Of course the other big disappointment was losing the semi-final against Queen of the South when I scored twice but we lost 4-3.
“We had beaten Celtic in a replay down at Parkhead in the previous round so to lose to a lower league after that was a bit of a shocker really.
“But that’s the beauty of the cup that something like can happen as everyone would have thought we were certain to make the final that year.
“It would have been a great chance for us to go on and win it so that’s not the best of memories.”
The Dons face Killie for the second time in two weeks in far more confident mood following a 3-1 win at Hamilton and a fine display despite losing 2-1 to Celtic on Sunday since the sides last met.
The dearth of attacking entertainment made for grim viewing prior to the Dons rediscovering their knack in front of goal but Considine, the great Pittodrie survivor of the past two decades, is too long in the tooth to let the rumbles of discontent affect him.
He said: “Confidence is coming back but you get that by winning games and scoring goals and while the result against Celtic wasn’t there on Sunday the standard of performance was.
“We have played some of our best games over the years against Celtic and we felt the worst we should have got out of that one was a draw.
“But I’ve been involved in worse runs than the one we’ve had lately as it wasn’t as though we were getting beat every week.
“Yes it wasn’t entertaining football, far from it, and it hasn’t been that entertaining for a while but fair play to the manager.
“He changed things up for the Hamilton game giving a few boys a chance that they hadn’t had in recent weeks and they took it.
“Big Curtis Main has been a breath of fresh air and he has spurred us on to a couple of great performances.
“But if you are not winning, playing entertaining football or scoring goals you leave yourself open to criticism and that’s just life.
“But that can change just as quickly and people have seen the good side of us in the last two matches and we know what we are capable of.”