He was brought up in a St Johnstone family with McDiarmid Park-supporting mates – now Liam Gordon hopes to become a cup hero like those he watched in 2014.
The centre-back has been a rock for Callum Davidson this season, playing 36 times under the former Scotland international during his first season in charge. While things got off to a frustrating start, the Saints are now pushing for another top six Premiership finish and silverware this Sunday during the League Cup final with Livingston.
Gordon has told NTOF that the competition has kicked the Saints’ season into top gear: “It was a really frustrating at the start of the season as we had a lot of good performances without the results. It’s a result-driven industry and you are constantly looked at to produce three points. It was something that needed to improve.
“But it was a new manager, new players, new style of play, and it was always going to take time to gel. We are reaping the rewards now of all the hard work on the training ground. Going to the start of the League Cup group stages, we had Kelty Hearts away.
“It was very windy, a Wednesday night, raining, horrible. Those games can make you slip up and then Peterhead away, the conditions were ridiculous. We had Dundee United in our group too. We also had to play Dunfermline, who people think could be a Premiership side, and we were underdogs according to some, believe or not.
“Then Hibs we put on a show for everyone watching. But it has been an easier route to the final as we haven’t played Celtic or Rangers, but that is the magic of the cup. We played really well against Hibs and it wasn’t our best performance.
“But it was recognised as it’s a national cup final on the TV. We have had a lot of good performances this season and hopefully we can produce another on Sunday. This competition has helped us massively. We went through a goal drought at the start of the season but then we played Brechin City and put seven past them.
“We played Kelty Hearts midweek and put a few goals past them too. That kicked us on in attack and then games like Dunfermline and Hibs, it gave us a positive push in the league. We have a massive, massive league game with Hamilton on the Wednesday too.
“We have a cup final on the Sunday but we also have Wednesday to prepare for. If there are celebrations, and I hope there will be, they will have to be limited! We have that bonus of the cup final and hopefully we can bring it home. In the next two weeks we could turn a season that at the start people were worried about, to one of the best in the club’s recent history.”
Gordon knows what Sunday means to the supporters. He was there in 2014 when the Saints won the Scottish Cup and he’s played with those who made it happen. But now he wants to be a name remembered in Perth folklore as a cup winner.
He says St Johnstone may not get a better chance than this weekend: “I am a local Perth lad, born and bred. It makes it a little bit more special for me as I have the opportunity to fight and win something for the people of Perth. I was at the games when I was younger, I had a season ticket from when I was about 10.
“My dad, my grandpa, my uncle, my friends, I have a big backing, so I will get it in the neck if I don’t bring it home! These finals don’t come about very often. It’s such a good chance to write history. You might not get an opportunity to do this again.
“We know how realistic our chances are of winning this and that is what is making it better. I was there in 2014 and not just for the club, but the city remembers that weekend. It brought everyone together and already this week I have seen all the decorations in the city. The whole community has come together.
“I am in a good position. I am playing for my boyhood club, I am living in the city I was brought up in and I am about to play in a cup final for the team I have supported since I was a wee nipper. It doesn’t get much better for me right now.”
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