Utd’s John­son sees semi as chance to lay down marker

Evening Telegraph (First Edition) - - Uk World Today -

“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.

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