'We won't forget this feeling - this was the lowest moment of my career' - Pain and embarrassment laid bare by Dundee United

Two days on and the pain is still searing through those of a Dundee United persuasion.

Dundee United defender Liam Smith looks to the heavens after the 7-0 thrashing by AZ Alkmaar.
Dundee United defender Liam Smith looks to the heavens after the 7-0 thrashing by AZ Alkmaar.
Dundee United defender Liam Smith looks to the heavens after the 7-0 thrashing by AZ Alkmaar.

Defender Liam Smith has admitted that they just cannot forget the feeling of being thrashed by AZ Alkmaar and said the mauling was the lowest point of his career.

Jack Ross’s side were beaten 7-0 by the Dutch Eredivisie outfit on Thursday night as they matched the record for the worst ever defeat by a Scottish side in Europe.

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United had travelled to the Netherlands with hope following their 1-0 win in the first game at Tannadice – but they were ripped apart at the AFAS Stadion. While AZ were very good, the Terrors were terrible.

Battered and bruised, they now travel to face Hearts on Sunday in the cinch Premiership looking to bounce back from their evening of ignominy.

Smith said: “We now need to move on and Sunday is big; it was already big, but we need to react.

“We won’t forget this feeling. That will stay with us for a very long time and we can use it going into Sunday – remember it and, although we don’t need more motivation to get a result, maybe use it as extra fuel for a good result.

“It’s a challenge at the best of time going to Tynecastle but we’ll go there with a grit and a determination that we maybe didn’t show at times on Thursday.

“That’s probably the lowest any of us have ever felt after a game. It wasn’t good enough. They upped their gears two or three times compared to last week — and we didn’t match that, even remotely.

“When that is the case, and you are playing a good side, then you are going to get beat.

“Even then, there is a manner to lose. To lose as many goals as we did in such a small period of time; we need to be stronger and stick together. We didn’t do that and paid the price. Ultimately, it’s an embarrassing result.”

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United had appeared to be settling into the game well after getting through the 21st minutes unscathed.

However, six goals in a devastating 26 minute period put paid to any hope of them progressing to the Europa Conference League play-off round.

He said: “I can’t really put my finger on why [they fell apart]. It felt similar to the game the previous week, when they had an initial spell but we grew into the game.

“We always knew they would get chances at home and that there was a good chance they’d score at home. We were prepared for that and had a plan of how to react to going behind. We didn’t do it and they took advantage take. They punished all of our individual and collective mistakes.

“When you are playing good teams, that is going to happen.

“But a lot of it was avoidable.

“I don’t think much needed said. The gaffer didn’t come in shouting and screaming. As a group of players, we know that we let ourselves down and, with the amount of fans that travelled, we didn’t give them the performance they deserved.

“We are just as disappointed as they will be.

“We can’t blame anyone for their reaction. We are going to take stick and criticism. We’ll shoulder everything that comes our way. We deserve it. It’s how we react to that. We know we can’t put this right in 90 minutes, but it’ll hopefully get out league campaign going.”