Dundee forward John Baird was pleased to impress his manager after starting the Scottish Premier League side’s William Hill Scottish Cup victory at Livingston – but was even more delighted to see his side safely reach today’s fifth-round draw after an upset earlier this season.
Baird was making his first start in two months, having appeared from the bench since then, and made an impact by being involved in both his side’s goals, netted early by Steven Milne and then by Ryan Conroy from the penalty spot.
Manager Barry Smith praised his performance, and Baird said: “He’s pulled me in a couple of times and said how well I’ve been doing in training and that he’s appreciated the way I’ve gone about my business, waiting for the opportunity to get back in the side.
“You can’t grumble when the team’s doing well, and just take your opportunity when it comes. Getting through to the next round is massive. We owed the fans after losing to Queen’s Park [the 2-1 League Cup defeat in August] when we went down to ten men.
“We came here flying out the blocks and got the goals; Livingston are a good side and kept the ball, but there’s no point in us chasing it when we were two up. We were hoping to hit them on the counter and nearly made it a third, but winning the game is the most important thing and it was a good day all round.”
Livingston midfielder Burton O’Brien felt his side could have had a penalty shortly after Dundee’s spot-kick, when Liam Fox’s shot was handled, but believes the First Division side can be encouraged by their display.
He said: “We have to take the positives. It was frustrating for us to give away two cheap goals, but on the whole I thought we played okay and moved the ball well, and the young boys will learn a lot from the game.
“I was right beside Dundee’s penalty and admittedly it was one, but equally I thought ours was as well and those are things that can change a game.
“This was a game that was winnable for us but we got off to a poor start, losing two early goals, and were always chasing it after that. However, a lot of the young boys can hold their heads high and say they performed well against an SPL team.”