Bevis Mugabi is determined to set up some big cup ties with Motherwell after missing out on facing Manchester United earlier in his career.
A cruel injury blow denied the defender the chance to line up against the likes of Juan Mata and Marcus Rashford in 2018 while he was playing for Yeovil.
Now the Uganda international is keen to embark on a Scottish Cup run with Motherwell but will need to overcome Highland League side Formartine United in the third round on Saturday.
“We had a couple of good ties against Man United at home in the FA Cup and played Everton away in the Carabao Cup. I played against (Romelu) Lukaku and (Yannick) Bolasie, I think they are still in there,” said Mugabi, pointing to his pocket.
“I played left-back and the manager told me to do a job on Bolasie, and that’s what I did.
“Man United, I didn’t get to play, I got injured the day before the game and was heartbroken. I pulled my hamstring, but it was good for the club.
“The stadium was sold out and the atmosphere it caused and the buzz around the town was nice to see. But that’s only going to inspire me to go on another cup run.
“We know we haven’t performed particularly well this season and this is something to improve our season and give the fans something to look forward to as well. It’s extra games to prove ourselves.”
Mugabi signed a new one-year contract on Thursday after recovering from a shoulder injury.
“I feel like it’s been a year of growth for me personally and I feel like I have come to that point in my career where I am one of the leaders within the squad,” the 25-year-old said.
“With that comes responsibility. I have to perform. That’s the pressure I have to put on myself to be the best I can be in training and on game days. I feel like I have definitely built on that and my performances have shown that.”
Mugabi and Declan Gallagher are both battling for a return to the centre of defence after Motherwell’s 4-1 defeat by Kilmarnock before the international break.
Manager Graham Alexander said: “We will pick a team to win the game, not as preparation for anyone else, not to get minutes into people. The team we pick will be the best one to win this game.
“We have spoken regularly about the mental preparation you have to put into every game and possibly we have let ourselves down a couple of times by taking the opposition lightly. So we have already had warning shots and lessons.
“People have come back into training and we have been able to work them really hard. The squad is looking healthier than it was three or four weeks ago when we had six academy lads on the bench and couldn’t even fill it.”
Gallagher lost his place in the Scotland team after being restricted to substitute appearances for Motherwell following a recent hamstring problem.
“Declan came in and was full of beans,” Alexander said. “I spoke to him and obviously he was disappointed not to play but he understands there are 22 other fantastic players in the Scotland squad chomping at the bit to play.
“He will never let his standards and mentality drop. He obviously got injured for us and couldn’t get back in the team but his attitude to training has been absolutely top notch.”
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