When goalkeeper Trevor Carson joined Motherwell from relegated English League Two outfit Hartlepool United on a three-year contract for the paltry sum of £10,000 last summer, it’s fair to say that no-one was expecting miracles.
But, just 10 months and several wonderful performances later, the 30-year-old has kept a total of 16 clean sheets in helping Motherwell to two national cup finals and earned an international cap for Northern Ireland
“Honestly it has exceeded my expectations,” Carson said after Saturday’s sensational 3-0 William Hill Scottish Cup semi-final win over shellshocked Aberdeen at Hampden.
“I’ve put a lot of hard work in over the last few years and kept believing that something like this would happen.
“People have always said to me you just need that lucky break.
“And that lucky break was Stephen Robinson bringing me here in the summer.
“And I feel like I’ve taken the opportunity.
“Sixteen clean sheets is fantastic.
“I’m obviously chasing big Darren Randolph’s record of 20. That’s a little personal incentive I have.
“The main thing today was getting the result and getting into the final.
“But that’s the icing on the cake.”
With the score at 2-0 against the Dons, Carson made a key save from Aberdeen’s Adam Rooney and within three minutes the game was ended as a contest as Curtis Main netted the killer third.
“I came into the semi-final and expected to maybe have a lot more to do,” added Carson.
“I had one save in the second half. It was probably at an important time, 2-0.
“They sort of had their tails up a bit and that’s my job.
“Apart from that, the lads in front of me were outstanding.”
Carson will again be a key man for Motherwell in the final back at Hampden in front of 50,000 fans against Old Firm giants Celtic on Saturday, May 19.
“I can’t wait,” Carson said.
“The final is so much to look forward to. The lads will be buzzing.”
Motherwell will return to Scottish Premiership action against Ross County in Dingwall this Saturday, April 21.
The match is the first of five bottom six games for seventh placed ’Well to finish the season.
Despite the fact that they are 13 and 12 points clear respectively of bottom club Partick Thistle and second bottom County and in virtually no danger of going down, Carson insisted they have plenty to play for.
“There is pressure in terms of lads playing for a place in the final,” Carson said.
“The gaffer’s team talks will do themselves for the next three or four weeks with places up for grabs.
“We know we’ll take a travelling support up to Dingwall who pay good money to watch us and we owe it to them.
“We’ll be bang at it again, ready for Ross County.
“We’re desperate to finish top of the bottom half.
“That’s the incentive for us, finish as high as possible.
“Obviously it’s important to the club because financially you get extra money.
“But for us it’s just a pride thing being a professional footballer. You want to win every game and you want to finish as high as possible.
“We had a disappointment missing out on the top six because that was the big thing for us all season.
“But if we go and finish seventh, get into two cup finals and hopefully win one, what a season that would be.”