DANNY DEVINE has to choose his words with all the caution of a blindfolded man traversing a minefield.
The 21-year-old Northern Irishman may be the recipient of a piece of good luck. He hesitates to touch on the subject lest it explodes in his face.
The Inverness Caledonian Thistle centre-back is tipped to play in the League Cup final on Sunday as Gary Warren serves a suspension incurred in the semi-final against Hearts.
"After we got through the semi-final it was in my mind that I could end up playing in the final," he said. Both Warren and his central defensive partner Josh Meekings had been sent off before Inverness staged a remarkable revival to equalise and then win a penalty shoot-out after extra time.
The red card of Meekings was later rescinded but the opportunity remains for Devine. "I have tried to stay fit and to remain positive for the final in case I am called upon," he said.
His caution is understandable, given he had started only three matches before last night's game against Hibernian.
"It has been frustrating for me personally but I have had to stay ready for situations like this," said Devine. "Come the final, if I am playing, the adrenalin and the occasion will take over and that will help me get through it. It will be tough to come in but I have been working hard to keep on top of my fitness."
If fate has placed the chance of a final at his feet, there is a feeling among the Inverness players that it has also given a nod to the team's chances of defeating Aberdeen at Celtic Park.
"It was in some of the lads' heads that if we weren't going to win the final then we should have just ended it against Hearts," he said. "Once we got through, after all that hard work with nine men, then surely we can now go and win the cup with 11 men at Parkhead against Aberdeen. We have already beaten them once at their place."
The date is set for Devine intervention.