St Mirren striker John Sutton hopes an Irn-Bru Cup final win over Dundee United can fire them to league success just as it did 11 seasons ago.
Sutton scored the winner in the Challenge Cup final against Hamilton on the way to St Mirren’s First Division title success in the 2005-06 campaign.
The Buddies find themselves fighting at the opposite end of the same division but four wins in six league games – including one against United – has given them a chance of staying up by cutting the gap on Ayr to one point.
And Sutton knows a cup final triumph at Fir Park on Saturday could provide an added spark to their unlikely survival fight.
Speaking about their earlier Challenge Cup win, the 33-year-old said: “It was fantastic, the support we took to Airdrie was unbelievable. We nearly filled the place out. It was a brilliant occasion in terms of the atmosphere, and we played really well.
“It was some feeling to get the winner and that kicked us on to win the league that year. Hopefully it can kick us on to safety this year.
“We were a really young team who were unfancied to go up, and the ethos we had and the group of players helped kick us on to promotion, which no one expected from us.”
Sutton has played in the Scottish Cup final with Motherwell and League Cup final with Hearts, as well as numerous European games, since his first spell with St Mirren but the Challenge Cup triumph remains a major highlight of his career.
“People disregard the trophy, it’s not as big as the League Cup or the Scottish Cup, but it’s not easy to win,” he said.
“You only have to look at how Rangers, Hibs and Hearts have fared in the competition. They are three of the biggest clubs in Scotland but Rangers only won it once.”
United have only won two of their last 12 matches and midfielder Willo Flood knows they have to improve if they are to win the trophy.
“We need to go there on Saturday and get a good result because confidence has been low of late,” the Irishman told Arabzone.
“We are conceding too many goals from set-pieces so we have been working on that a lot this week and we need to make sure we give ourselves a platform to win the game. I can’t remember the last time we went in at half-time with a clean sheet.”