Kenny McLean wants leading role in cup final

St Mirren celebrate their Scottish Communities League Cup victory with an open-top bus parade through Paisley. Kenny McLean, centre, and Jeroen Tesselaar lead the celebrations. Picture: SNS
St Mirren celebrate their Scottish Communities League Cup victory with an open-top bus parade through Paisley. Kenny McLean, centre, and Jeroen Tesselaar lead the celebrations. Picture: SNS
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Kenny McLean will head to Hampden today harbouring a sense of unfinished business.

The last time he was involved in a League Cup final, he spent the day as a member of the support cast, an unused sub as St Mirren went on to defeat Hearts and lift the trophy.

That was back in 2013, the year before Derek McInnes guided Aberdeen to their first silverware in 19 years, and now McLean wants help the Pittodrie side add another cup triumph to the record books and treat himself to the full experience.

“The [St Mirren] winners’ medal will always be there but I don’t look back and feel too part of it. At the time, the celebrations were good, the three or four days out, but apart from that it was wee bit... I look back and it’s something I want to repeat but this time do what the boys did. I was delighted for them that day but I felt a wee bit left out and couldn’t really celebrate as much as others.

“The team was announced on the day but I’d been injured leading up to it, so I was struggling to make the bench to start with. I was hoping to be involved at some point and not being involved was tough. Looking back it’s a bit disappointing not being involved in the final but I’ve got the chance again.

“It’s unfinished business. It’s something I want to do, of course, as many times as I can throughout my career and hopefully this is a chance we can take”

Even appearances in the games that swept St Mirren to the final couldn’t console him and while the medal is appreciated, he admits that it has been left back in Glasgow with his parents, while he concentrates on life at Aberdeen.

“I’m sure that when we get this one on Sunday it will be staying in Aberdeen with me. This time round, I’ve been involved right up to the final and I’m ready for Sunday.”

Turning down the opportunity to head south when English clubs came knocking, McLean opted to swap Paisley for Pittodrie, citing the lure of first team football and games like this one as the reason.

“Coming here, you know it’s a massive club and that there are going to be chances of silverware. As a player that’s what you want, to win as much in your career as you can. That is the aim and coming here you know this club should be challenging in two cups every year and we should be challenging at the top end of the league table so that was a big incentive. Last season was a let down in that sense but this season we are putting it right.”