Sam Stanton has been on both ends of cup shocks in his time, and it’s the feeling when he was on the wrong end of one that makes him determined to make sure Dundee United win their fourth-round tie against Montrose.
As a Hibs player, Stanton was part of the side that made an unexpected exit at the hands of Raith Rovers.
That painful memory is one he does not want to experience again.
“I’ve actually had good and bad in the cup and, hopefully, this can be another good memory,” said the midfielder.
“When I was at Dumbarton, we had a couple of games where we weren’t expected to win and did, so that was a nice feeling.
“But, when I was at Hibs, we were beaten by Raith and that definitely wasn’t a nice experience.
“They were in the Championship and we were in the Premier League, so everyone expected us to get through. It wasn’t good when we lost.
“That feeling is one you don’t want again and results like that one just show you can’t take anything for granted.
“Teams in Scotland in all the leagues have good players and, if you don’t have the proper approach, you will have problems.”
And Stanton expects Montrose to battle tooth and nail to cause a shock tomorrow but believes United will be ready to cope with that.
“These are difficult games because you know one team is giving everything they can to beat you because they have that nothing-to-lose mentality about them.
“I’ve been there myself in those cup-ties when I was with Dumbarton, where you play teams who are bigger than your club and you don’t normally play against.
“It excites you and it’s a chance for you to show how good you are. It’s why, if you’re the bigger team, you can never take these games for granted.”
He believes the key to avoiding a shock is treating the opposition with the respect they deserve and working towards the tie as if it was a big game.
“We have prepared for this one like we do every other game and that makes sure you have the right attitude.
“The manager has had his videos of Montrose and been telling us about their strengths and weaknesses.
“That way you make sure you are going into the game with the right mentality.”
And, if promotion from the Championship this term is by far the No 1 goal, Stanton admits he would love to go as far as possible in the cup.
“A cup run is always important for the supporters and we know that.
“For the players as well, it’s nice to do well and, as a football club, it is always important that we go as far as we can in the cup.
“It’s another game we want to win and, if you can string some wins together in the league and add a cup run to that as well, it’s always a help.”
Stanton is also well aware that a side story tomorrow will be Tangerines legend Sean Dillon coming up against them for the first time since he ended a 10-year stay at Tannadice in 2017.
He expects the man who won the cup with United in 2010 to get a rousing welcome from Arabs but, once that is out of the way and the game kicks off, it will be business as usual.
“Sean left before I arrived at United but I know what a good player he was for the club.
“He was here a long time and I’m sure he will get a good reception from our fans who travel up there.
“For us, it’s about making sure he’s not the one getting clapped off the pitch after the game has finished.”