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Liam Smith: 'Semi-final is the biggest game of my career'

Liam Smith: 'Semi-final is the biggest game of my career'
© Reuters
United take on Hibernian on Saturday.

Dundee United full-back Liam Smith knows the career importance of Saturday's Scottish Cup semi-final against Hibernian at Hampden Park.

The Tannadice side last won the trophy in 2010 when they beat Ross County and previously reached the final in 2014, losing to St Johnstone.

The 25-year-old helped the Taysiders win the Championship last season and also previously won that division with St Mirren.

Smith, though, is aware that opportunities for cup glory do not come along every season which is why he sees this game as the biggest of his career to date.

He said: "Yes, I would say so. I have never been on a cup run, I haven't got far in previous years.

"In terms of playing big games which are important for league points and going for championships and things like that (yes) but in terms of one-off, to get to a cup final I don't think there has been a bigger game.

"People can go through their careers and they don't win trophies or medals and might not even play in cup semi-finals or finals so when an opportunity comes around it is one that you have to grasp with both hands, you can't come off with any regrets.

"We have experienced boys in the dressing room that have played in cup finals and semi-finals and have won and lost both so they will use their experience to pass on to the rest of us.

"We know how big it is for the club, for us and the fans so we don't want to let it slip."

Smith, who signed from Ayr United in 2019, knows his side will have to be at their best against Hibs.

An impressive 3-0 win over Aberdeen at Pittodrie in the last round was followed by a 2-0 defeat at home to Premiership strugglers Ross County last weekend.

Smith said: "That maybe gave us a kick up the backside we needed after coming off the high of Aberdeen.

"Maybe we went into that thinking we could just turn up and it would happen again and obviously that was not the case.

"You need to be at it all the time, especially going into Saturday.

"It is good knowing you have the level we performed at against Aberdeen in you, but equally, we know we can't just turn up. We need to be 100 per cent at it on the day."

Hibs have had the best of the three league meetings with United this season, with two wins at Tannadice and a draw at Easter Road.

Smith said: "Going by their league position and performances they are a really good team in this division.

They have got a bit of everything, they can pass it around but they also have the target up front of (Martin) Boyle, (Kevin) Nisbet and (Christian) Doidge as well.

"We have played against them enough, we know what their threats are and we know, hopefully, where we can exploit them as well."

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A general shot of a Premier League football ahead of the Premier League clash between Everton and West Ham United at Goodison Park on October 30, 2016
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