The word deny (in Greek aparneomai) is only used 4xs in Matthew. It is used three times in Matthew 26 (verses 34, 35, and 75) where it refers to Peter’s denial. But the other time it is used is Matthew 16:24 where it says:
Then Jesus told his disciples, “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me.
The upshot is we either deny ourselves or we will find ourselves denying Jesus.