The Courier & Advertiser (Fife Edition)

Siegrist willing to be team player on road to Hampden


Dundee United goalkeeper Benjamin Siegrist insists he is happy to play the role of understudy to cup keeper Deniz Mehmet, writes Calum Woodger.

United back-up stopper Deniz has played all of the Tangerines’ Betfred and Scottish Cup matches this season.

The English-born Turk is set to continue between the sticks as the Terrors head for Forfar Athletic’s Station Park on Friday night to contest a last-16 clash in the Scottish Cup.

The 28-year-old will have another chance to impress in front of BBC Scotland’s cameras and, although he wants to start every game, Siegrist is focused on being a good team-mate to Deniz as they look to make another step on the road to Hampden.

“I am the wrong person to ask,” the Swiss said of his role going forward in cup clashes.

“I always want to play in matches but I understand the boss makes the decisions.

“As an individual, I want to play but if the boss decides you are not playing then you are not playing.

“I would love to play every week, and as much as I can, but there are other people pushing for places.

“I don’t think it is a big deal, I am available every week and I will try to do my best and, if I am not playing, I will try to be the best team-mate I can be.

“It is what it is but you see it in football that players chop and change.”

Siegrist has good memories in cup competitio­n, playing in the FA Youth Cup final as a youngster at Aston Villa and even winning the World Cup with Switzerlan­d Under-17s in 2009.

Challengin­g for silverware is a special part of the game for the 29-year-old and it’s no different in Scotland.

He insists Micky Mellon’s men are “in it to win it” but knows they must first navigate their tie with the League One Loons at Station Park before they start dreaming of kissing silverware.

“Everywhere you go the

cup competitio­ns are something special,” Siegrist added.

“It is a one-off game get to the latter stages.

“The magic of the cup is that anything can happen.

“We had a tight game against Partick Thistle in the last round (a 2-1 win) and, unfortunat­ely, we couldn’t share it with the fans.

“It is even more special when the fans are there because it is a day out for them.

“We are in it to win it, on the day anything can happen and we want to progress.

“The aim is just to get through because once you do that nobody asks how. You just focus on getting through.”

Recalling his outstandin­g experience­s in Nigeria with the Swiss youth team, a squad which included current internatio­nal stars Granit Xhaka of Arsenal, Torino’s Ricardo Rodriguez and Haris Seferovic of Benfica, Siegrist drew parallels to United’s current battles.

The big stopper won the tournament’s Golden Glove and also came up against Deniz in Africa, with the then-West Ham youngster Turkey’s No 1.

“I played all he continued.

“It is certainly a little bit different to the league or Scottish cups that are played over a longer period of time.

“Tournament­s and are trophies to win.

“The scheduling is different to a tournament but it is still about getting results and progressin­g to the next round.” the to games,” cups

 ??  ?? Deniz Mehmet.
Deniz Mehmet.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from United Kingdom