Dundee United goalie Benjamin Siegrist is no stranger to big matches. However, ahead of his first Dundee derby tonight, the Swiss stopper admits he cannot wait to step over the white line.
The 27-year-old goalkeeper has been a giant presence between the sticks for the Terrors in recent times, attracting admirers across Europe.
With the transfer window open until Monday, United are braced for bids coming in for Siegrist.
However, for Benji, the only focus is this evening’s clash with Dundee at Tannadice.
With experience of city derbies at home in Switzerland and at youth level with the national team, he has experience under his belt.
However, he knows a sold-out Dundee derby is an entirely different prospect altogether but one he is relishing.
“In Switzerland, there was city derbies and it was good to play with the national team at youth level against Germany,” he said.
“At the end of the day, it’s three points we’re after tonight, it doesn’t matter who we play.
“It’s going to be a big occasion, of course but we relish that.
“It’s special but we have to do our jobs, it’s the same pitch and it’s 11 against 11 so there’s not much difference because we know what we’re doing.
“The atmosphere will be cranking and it’s a night game which is nice under the lights.”
And, with Arabs packed in behind both goals this evening, Siegrist will be well-backed.
He insists that support is something the players never take for granted and is aiming to repay the fans with a win against their city rivals.
Siegrist added: “ I’m looking forward to playing at home. Towards the back end of last season, Tannadice started to get full and the crowd’s been great.
“They’ve been really loud, even last Saturday there was a tangerine wall behind me.
“I think it does translate onto us. If the crowd’s loud it’s good but we’ve got to give something to them first.
“They appreciate you fighting for every ball and covering every blade of grass.
“It goes hand in hand but the crowd can definitely push us like they have.
“Everybody’s prepared to go for each other.”
Victory for the Tangerines this evening would open up a seven-point gap to Tannadice Street neighbours the Dark Blues.
However, Siegrist insists they are just focused on the 90 minutes and picking up the points that keep them at the top of the Championship.
“There are other teams that want to beat us, too. Though, we need to fight our battles if we want to come through and play.
“With the talent we have, we need to match everybody else’s work ethic. We can’t slack on that and our quality will then come through.
“Hopefully, we do the same tonight.
“It’s the fourth game so we go on the pitch to win, if it’s seven points ahead of Dundee, it doesn’t really matter.
“The season is still young but we need to accumulate points. We’re in good form but it’s 90 minutes to be competed and that’s the main thing.
“We are ready and prepared from this week, which was important for the game tonight.
“We wanted to get off to a good start and the results have been really good, as well as the way we’ve played.
“It’s no coincidence because we worked hard in pre-season and we’ve got boys who want to come in and work hard in training.
“We want to keep winning as long as we can, which is important to accumulate points and put a bit of distance between us and the rest of the league.”