JASON SCOTLAND will be aiming to put one over his former Dundee United team-mates today when Saints take on second division leaders Gretna at McDiarmid Park.
The Trinidad and Tobago internationalist featured for United in last season’s 1-0 final defeat to Celtic, and he can’t wait to renew acquaintances with fellow striker James Grady, who featured in that game, and defender Chris Innes.
He said, “I know James and Chris well and it will be good to see them both on the pitch. They were good friends of mine at Tannadice but I haven’t seen James since he moved to Gretna.
“James was vying with me for a strikers’ role at United, whilst with Chris being a defender it will be an interesting battle against him.”
Gretna are on course to reach the first division and, with only one league defeat this season, Scotland acknowledged just how hard a proposition they will be.
“It will be a hard game but we need to take one game at a time. It would be great for St Johnstone to get into the last 16 of the cup.
“Getting to the final with United was great and I will never experience such a feeling again—except in the World Cup! But I do remember certain moments from the cup run including scoring against Hibs in the semi-final.
“But this is a different team with different players and hopefully we can do well for the club.
“You never know what can happen but we can beat anyone on our day, whether that be a first division or SPL side.”
Scotland—who can produce flashes of brilliance—could be the difference between the teams in the mouth-watering cup tie and he admitted he has only recently reached peak fitness.
He said, “At the start of the season I wasn’t fully match fit because I missed pre-season training. I was in Miami and then went back to Trinidad, but now I am feeling fine.
“It’s all about confidence and playing week in, week out. If you are on the bench it is harder and you can miss a few games.
“I had a foot injury that I picked up against Airdrie and didn’t perform as well as I can against Dundee on Monday, but I’ve got back the confidence to take on defenders.”
And his manager, Owen Coyle, knows just what a potent threat Scotland can be.
He said, “Jason is capable of turning games, but you need to give him plenty of quality ball.”
Coyle is relishing the tie as it provides a chance to meet up with several former team-mates.
“Gretna will be looking forward to this game and rightly so,” he said.