BY ALAN TEMPLE – @CCP_Sport
THE CADDEN brothers could be forgiven for a dose of the butterflies as they chase an astonishing family double next weekend.
However, Livingston ace Nicky reckons their dad, Steve, is the one who will really be put through the wringer.
Livi secured their place in the Premiership play-off final as a fraught 1-1 draw at Almondvale on Friday night ensured they saw off Dundee United 4-3 on aggregate, with the second leg to take place next Sunday.
Nicky Cadden will hope to be part of the side which seeks to complete a miraculous rise to the top-flight – just 24 hours after twin brother, Scotland under-21 star Chris, lines up for Motherwell against Celtic in the Scottish Cup final.
Nicky insists his whole family are beaming with pride, although their father, who had a modest playing career himself with Albion Rovers, is in for a nerve-shredding finale to the campaign.
“Chris was here with the whole family supporting me on Friday night, which was great,” said the 21-year-old. “The family is obviously buzzing just now.
“My dad [Steve] is delighted. He’s usually struggling on a Saturday because he doesn’t know what game to go to if we’re both playing! But, he’s always said that its a nice problem to have, as it means both of his boys are doing well.
“He usually goes to one game and our uncle with watch the other, so next weekend will be perfect for him – he can get to both. Although he’ll be a nervous wreck!
“To be fair Chris hasn’t really spoken about the Final too much. Obviously it’s been mentioned a couple of times, but Motherwell have been too busy trying to focus on getting as high up the league as they can.”
While Chris Cadden was among a bumper 4058 crowd at Almondvale on Friday night, Nicky will not be able to return the favour at Hampden as he prepares for Livingston’s promotion D-Day.
“I know its Celtic they’re playing but it would be brilliant to see Chris and the boys lift that cup.”
Cadden, meanwhile, insists criticism of Livingston’s style is water off a duck’s back – but insists David Hopkin’s dynamic Lions are anything but hammer-throwers.
Livi have copped some flak for there no-nonsense tactics and Cadden acknowledges that no-one will relish lining up against the aggressive Almondvale men. However, he is quick to point out that they are hardly a Land of the Giants.
“The criticism doesn’t bother us, we just get on with the job,” continued Cadden. “What we do has worked for us all year so we cannot complain.
“And it [physicality] hardly my game, is it? We can pass the ball when we need to. It’s not as if we’re throwing elbows around all the time or anything. We play within the laws of the game and we’ve got players in there who are great with the ball at their feet.
“The midfield isn’t exactly massive either – everyone seems to forget that. Our biggest guy in there is Shaun Byrne and he’s under six feet, and wee Pitts [Scott Pittman] is five foot seven.
“The gaffer has always said we don’t want anyone ever to come here and think we’re an easy team to play.”
To be 180 minutes away from the Premiership is a staggering achievement for Livi, who only won promotion from League 1 last season and began the campaign with one of the lowest budgets in the Championship.
They upset the odds to finish second and stunned United. So, Cadden reckons they can simply the occasion next week as they seek to return to the top tier for the first time since 2006.
“It means the world to everyone at the club – you can see that from the reaction of everyone at the end on Friday,” added Cadden. “Even getting second place was brilliant but to get to the play-off final is amazing.
“Obviously [the prospect of playing in the Premiership] is in the back of your head but it’s not a worry. If it happens, great. If it doesn’t, you’re disappointed but it has still been a great season.
“No-one even expected us to be there so there’s absolutely no pressure on us. The gaffer told us before the game that everyone had already written us off before the start of the season, then all the way through, but we just kept going.”