Aberdeen manager Stephen Glass grew up as a boyhood fan of tomorrow’s Scottish Cup opponents Dundee United and experienced disappointment as a supporter.
Glass attended cup finals where United tasted defeat, at a time where the Dons were regularly challenging for silverware too.
His partisanship was put to one side when he became an Aberdeen player as a teenager and now he finds himself in the dugout, looking to get one over his hometown club.
“I went to a few finals to watch them,” said Glass. “Ironically enough, the final that they won for the first time, I wasn’t there because I was away at a youth tournament with Aberdeen. I think I went to a final against Celtic and the final against St Mirren.
“I actually spoke to Alex Smith about that final the other day when his St Mirren team won the cup. He was happy about it, but I wasn’t too happy, because I was a young boy that was pretty upset United didn’t win the cup.
“I’ve kind of written that off in a way because I became an Aberdeen player at 16 and started thinking about Aberdeen really. You want your team to do well in the cup. I was no different then to what I am now, but I sit on the red side of things now.”
Glass, heading into his third game as Dons manager, has not been inundated with calls and messages this week from friends and family of a Tangerine persuasion.
“Just my brother,” he added. “He knows it’s more important for myself and the family that Aberdeen win. I don’t know if he’ll tell his mates that or not.
“He better not have split loyalties. If we played them in the final, then maybe, but I’m hopeful that he’s happy his brother is home and he wants him to do well. That might be a question for my brother.”
The Scottish Cup is a competition which has eluded the Dons’ grasp since Alex Smith was manager.
Glass’ conversations with Smith – plus the 31 years which have elapsed since they last won it – have shown how difficult the trophy is to bring home.
“I think every manager who has been Aberdeen manager since then has tried,” said Glass. “It’s not easy. There’s not a lot of teams win it. Some teams win the League Cup and things like that, but the Scottish Cup is a different animal altogether.
“It’s something the club wants. We get a quick opportunity to do it, but we know it’s very difficult to do or it would have been back here long before.”
Victory at Pittodrie on Sunday would put Aberdeen into the semi-finals at Hampden Park. The win over Livingston on penalties a week ago presented them with this opportunity.
“It would be an achievement for the group,” said Glass. “We have come into a group that is hugely motivated with good players.
“We know we we are fortunate to come into this group. We think we can win the game on Sunday, but I am well aware of the fact Micky (Mellon) rested five or six players in midweek.
“Clearly, you do that if you think you have a team that can win on Sunday. So Micky is in the same boat as me.”
Glass is hopeful of having Dons captain Joe Lewis and Ross McCrorie available for tomorrow. Lewis sat out the 1-1 draw with Celtic after picking up a rib injury against Livi, while McCrorie limped off early on Wednesday night.
“He did his goalkeeping training and worked away with Marsh (goalkeeper coach Gordon Marshall),” said Glass. “Our boys who played were recovering, so there wasn’t a full session for him to join in. He did as much as he could with Marsh, so we’ll see how he’ll come through it.
“Ross is OK. He got a real sore one on his ankle the other day – he’s a tough boy and desperate to play. Ross has got a chance for the weekend. He’s sore, but we’ll give him every chance.”