Duncan Ferguson believes winning the Scottish Cup as the Caley Thistle boss would even eclipse lifting the FA Cup as a player with his beloved Everton.
When he was 23, Ferguson came off the bench to replace match-winner Paul Rideout and help the Toffees defeat Manchester United 1-0 in the 1995 FA Cup final at Wembley.
That silver lining for Ferguson came amid three runners-up medals, twice in Scotland and once in England.
He was only 19 when he played the first half for Dundee United in a classic Scottish Cup final in 1991 as they lost 4-3 in a pulsating clash against Motherwell.
In 1994, he was a second half sub for Rangers, replacing Ally McCoist, as his former club Dundee United won the Scottish Cup final with a 1-0 win at Hampden.
Can Caley Jags go all the way again?
Being involved in showpiece occasions such as those are memorable to the Inverness manager, whose side host Premiership visitors Hibernian in the fifth-round of the Scottish Cup this Saturday.
In 2015, boss John Hughes guided the club to Scottish Cup glory, beating Falkirk in the final after knocking out Celtic in the semis.
Under Billy Dodds, ICT went all the way to last year’s final, losing 3-1 to treble-winners Celtic, after sending top-flight teams Livingston, Kilmarnock and League One Falkirk crashing out.
Having replaced Dodds last September, Ferguson is getting to grips with life managing in the Championship and all that comes with the job.
Full responsibility as the manager
He admits following the cup-winners from nine years ago would eclipse even winning the FA Cup as a top-level striker.
He said: “It would be more special to win as a manager I would think.
“You are responsible for everyone, so I think it would mean more as a manager than as a player.
“You are responsible for the tactical set-up, for the training and picking the team and motivating the players.
“It’s the whole thing – it’s you who is doing it all.
“When you’re a player, you are just looking after yourself to get ready for the match.
“At Everton I was doing it all as well. Don’t get me wrong, you maybe do more here – like clearing snow off the pitch (as he did before a recent Scottish Cup tie)– but I think all managers are up the wall like that.
“We’re all busy men, and I’m just one of them.”
Scottish Cup? ‘Maybe this year’…
Ferguson is proud to have been an FA Cup-winner and explained, when you’re younger, you feel like special moments like those will become annual occasions.
He said: “When you’re young, you think it will happen every year.
“I went to two cup finals when I was a young lad, and then I had a couple in the FA Cup with Newcastle and Everton.
“You just think it will never end, but as you get older you start to appreciate it a bit more and maybe reflect on them more.
“I can’t complain. I won the FA Cup – not many people get to do that. It would have been nice to have won a Scottish Cup, but maybe this year.”
— Scottish Gas Scottish Cup (@ScottishCup) February 7, 2024
Ferguson: ‘We will be up for it’
Last year’s runners-up ICT will hope to stun seventh-placed Premiership opponents Hibs on Saturday to book their spot in the quarter-final draw the following evening.
And Ferguson described what it would mean to deliver a victory with another Caley Jags upset.
He added: “It would be a massive boost. We’re taking on a top team, and if we can beat them it will give us confidence and momentum.
“Financially as well, we get a bit of money for getting into the next round, so hopefully that will happen.
“I’m sure my boys are up for every game, but this is one of the best teams in the country.
“It’s going to be a massive task for us, and it’s good that the players are pushing themselves to get into the top-flight.
“It will be a good gauge for us, so we will be up for it.”
Winger Luis Longstaff misses out this weekend due to a twisted knee in training, while striker Alex Samuel is a doubt due to a broken hand.