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Ambitious Benjamin Siegrist wants Dundee United to carry on building

Celtic v Dundee United – Scottish Premiership – Celtic Park
(Image credit: Andrew Milligan)

Benjamin Siegrist has backed Micky Mellon’s Tannadice troops to become Dundee United’s latest batch of history boys.

Mellon’s men remain in the hunt to end their first campaign back in the Scottish Premiership with a top-six finish.

But Swiss goalkeeper Siegrist believes the squad should be aiming higher, with the goal of matching the trophy-winning feats of Tannadice teams of old.

It is 11 years since Peter Houston’s Scottish Cup winners secured the club’s last major honour – and 38 since their only league triumph.

But having seen Tayside rivals St Johnstone claim Betfred Cup glory last weekend, Siegrist sees no reason why his side cannot dream of silverware themselves.

“We all know what the top teams in Scotland represent and it’s a greater challenge,” he said ahead of Sunday’s showdown with Celtic, which could finally see the fallen champions dethroned.

“Yes they have a great club history and have really great players – but so does our club. We have good players and a rich history.

“Hopefully, eventually Dundee United will be in a title race – but we’re not there yet.

“I’m not sitting here saying we’re going to win the league next year so please don’t misquote me. But as a player I am very ambitious.

“Let’s not forget we’ve just come up, so we’re a newly-promoted side.

“But what I’ve learned over my three years here is Dundee United has a very rich history with many fantastic players who produced moments for the fans to cherish, whether that be cup victories or European nights.

“You’ve got to put the building blocks down every year. You’re not going to go from winning the Championship and getting promoted to being in a title race straight away. That’s a little bit dreamland, I’d say.

“But I think this season is very important as we look to build towards better things next year.

“The way football has gone this year shows it’s not always going to be Celtic and Rangers winning the cups. If it can be a St Johnstone why can’t it be us?

“Why can’t we go to Hampden or finish in the top six?

“We have to take different steps of progression first. You’re never going to go straight from zero to 100 but at the end of the day we are Dundee United and the players here are representing a rich history.”

United must beat Celtic and Aberdeen to keep their top-six hopes alive.

But Sunday’s visitors to Tannadice are likely to come out all guns blazing themselves, knowing a slip-up will hand Rangers their first league title in a decade.

But that is nothing new for Siegrist, who said: “They do that anyway.

“They try to perform to their best every week and so do we. I don’t think this weekend’s situation changes much.

“If Celtic do have an off day then they are beatable. That’s football.”