Utd’s Johnson sees semi as chance to lay down marker
“After last Saturday, we want a reaction, a positive performance and a result.
“It doesn’t matter what t he competition is. If you can go to a difficult place and win well, you’ve made a statement and people take notice.
“That was the way it was in that Challenge Cup semi-final I played in and it’s a result I remember.
“We went there with quite a young team — I was in central midfield with Dale Gray and I think he was only 17 — but we had won by half-time.”
While he accepts this cup isn’t always a favourite of supporters and doesn’t try to pretend it is the No 1 priority for the club, Grant’s attitude is simple — we’re in it, so we might as well win it.
“In that season I played in the Challenge Cup it was actually very good for me.
“Unfortunately, I missed the first few games in the league through suspension, so the early ties gave me game time and a chance to get in the team.
“Then the early rounds were used to blood young players.
“We’ve done a bit of that this year and used it to get players like Tony Andreu and William Edjenguele used to the team.
“But i n 1995, by the time we reached the semis, we really wanted to win it and it’s the same this time.
“The manager has worked hard since we came in to create a winning mentality and that means we want to win every game we play.
“Once a game kicks off it doesn’t matter what the competition is, it’s about doing all you can to come out on top over the 90 minutes.
“That’s what we want to do on Saturday.”
Simon Murray wrapped up the scoring to earn a 4-1 victory the last time Dundee United were at Palmerston.