Benjy Siegrist hates to say Dundee United’s loss at Hibs on Tuesday was a good learning experience but he insists the Tangerines have to use their performance at Easter Road as a platform to build on.
The Swiss goalie conceded four times as the Premiership Hibees swept into round five of the Scottish Cup.
However, Siegrist says United’s fighting spirit to come from behind three times across the tie and take the contest into the closing stages of a replay shows there is plenty to look forward to at Tannadice.
He told the Tele: “We were disappointed because in both games we really stepped it up a level and played really well.
“We just couldn’t quite do it at crucial moments.
“We have to look at positives – I find that difficult because I’m a really bad loser – but we played well, in a new formation, and I am proud of the way we played.
“We fought really well, not many teams come from behind three times like we did in the two games and it shows how far we have come that we are disappointed with the result.
“There were sad faces around the dressing-room but we can proud.”
With an 18-point lead at the top of the Championship, United are well in the driving seat in the race for automatic promotion.
With Premiership football likely at Tannadice next season, the clash with a top-six side in Hibs showed the Tangerines what level they are aspiring to.
Siegrist added: “If you look at the goals, they were definitely avoidable – that’s the difference playing against a top-level side.
“They are a good team but we want to go to places like Easter Road so it’s important we kick on in the league now and get that over the line and look forward to big games next year.
“I’m not a big fan of talking about gaining experience after losing but it was a good test, we took it to a replay and came from behind but we just lacked a bit of concentration.
“We lacked execution in the important parts of the game, too, and their physicality and cleverness came through.
“We battled over 180 minutes and, looking back at the end of the season, hopefully after getting promotion over the line, we can say we stepped up a level.”
And more big games next season is what everyone at the club desires.
“We look forward to big games like that one, we had the promotion play-off games last season, but going to places like Easter Road is what we want to be doing every other week,” added the big goalie.
“Our fans were brilliant, it was really loud and we enjoyed passing the ball.
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“At times, we played really good stuff. We were disappointed to lose because we are competitors but we will learn from that.
“I don’t like talking about getting experience from losing games but Hibs play at the top level week in and week out and we had to step up.
“We proved we can do that but we’re just not quite there yet. The signs look good, though.”
After the trip to a Premiership side, United are back in league action this weekend as they look to extend their unbeaten run of 13 games in the Championship.
Dick Campbell’s Arbroath are the visitors and Siegrist says its important the players keep their focus in the league.
“We’ll probably have more of the ball on Saturday but Arbroath are a hard team to break down.
“It’ll be a good game with them coming to Tannadice. Everybody wants to beat us.
“We’ll dust ourselves off after Tuesday night and re-energise because we have to.
“We go again Saturday and need to put on a good performance at home.
“I think that will be a statement as well if we can win – when you get knocked down, you get back up.”