10th April 2010
Scottish Cup Semi Final
Hampden Park, Glasgow
Celtic 0-2 Ross County
As we continue to go back to one of the clubs most historical moments, we catch up with midfielder Paul Lawson who played a vital part in the successful Scottish Cup run that would eventually lead to a Hampden Park Semi-Final win over Celtic and Final against Dundee United.
Many people saw this cup run as Ross County placing themselves on the Scottish Football map, would you agree with this?
Obviously the club had made great strides over the years going from the Highland League right through to that time the old First Division, but to get to a major cup final certainly lifted the profile of the club, there is no doubt about that. The way it was done added to that. We knocked out some big opposition along the way. Caley put themselves on the map when they had had their day at Celtic park back in ’99 but for us to do it at Hampden in a Semi Final after knocking Hibs out in the previous round put us right up there.
How did things change for yourself and the team following the semi-final result against Celtic and the lead up to the final?
That season had been a good one in terms of league performance. We had been up challenging but there is no doubt our league form suffered after the Celtic game. Not only that, due to our cup run and other postponements, we had major catch up to play, so that never helped things. For myself nothing really changed, I was in race against time to be fit for the final. I had pulled my hamstring in the Quarter final replay against Hibs. I managed to train in the week leading up to the Celtic game but only to take my place on the bench as not fully fit. I then tweaked it again the following week, so it was all about trying to be ready for the final. I tried all sorts, extra physio sessions, sitting in a hyperbaric chamber a few times a week, anti-inflammatory tablets going in where things should never go!! But everything was geared up to that final, hence why our league campaign did suffer but at that time, where the club was at, totally understandable. Even though playing against SPL opposition, after the route we had taken to the final, it was certainly one we fancied our chances in
This was the clubs first major cup final, it must have been an honour to play your part in such a monumental part of the clubs history?
I was fortunate enough to be part of such a successful time at the club but to play at Hampden in the Scottish Cup Final, it’s what dreams are made of. It was a huge honour to be part of that and something that the boys and myself will never ever forget. Unfortunately, we didn’t deliver on the day and there will always be that sense of frustration.
A special mention must go to the fans. I believe when we reached the final, no one gave us a hope that we could fill up our allocation for the day, how wrong were they, it was unbelievable to see.
Given how different things were back in 2010, how big an achievement was it for Ross County to go on that journey?
This was a huge achievement, sometimes due to the power of social media these days, I don’t feel we got the credit we deserve that we would have had today. Since that day, the club have obviously gone on and achieved so much more , with the Division 1 title and League Cup win, but at that time, with that group of players, on the budget the manager had, it was an incredible achievement.
There were some big characters in the squad back then, Michael Gardyne, Martin Scott, to name a couple, what was the dressing room like in those days?
You speak to any player and they will always say, a successful team has a great dressing room. Now don’t get me wrong, results certainly add to that and when confidence is high, everything else is good but the squad of 2010 and the squad that won Division 1 in 2011/12 were unbelievable. Yes, you obviously have the characters of Gardyne and ‘Jimmy’ but just the togetherness of both groups was exceptional. Midge and Jimmy are the ones that stick out for everyone but the likes of Alex ‘Jasper’ Keddie, Vigurs, Stef Craig to name a few were always at the forefront of the wind-ups. No one was exempt from any prank or getting a bit of stick, but that’s what made it so good. On the park, if you kicked one of us, you kicked us all, we all had each others back. It was very competitive as we all had that desire to win. There would be fights in training, but the second the session was over, it would be forgotten and we would be laughing about it in the changing rooms. All good friends and friends for life