Brechin City v Airdrieonians preview
11th April 2014
Gary Bollan says he's not surprised to see Airdrieonians climbing towards League One safety.
The Diamonds boss insists he knew the squad was capable of staying up and one defeat in 12 games shows his faith was not misplaced.
On Saturday, Airdrie will travel to Glebe Park to face Brechin City. The teams are level on points and goal difference with Ray McKinnon's men ahead in seventh place by virtue of having scored more goals.
And Bollan's message to the players will be to keep on going with the prize of automatic survival in sight.
"We shouldn't be surprised," said the 41-year-old when asked if he'd been taken aback with the intensity of Airdrie's turnaround. "The fitness and confidence was lacking but they've got that back now.
"I knew we had the nucleus of a good set of players in there and now we're getting the best out of them.
"We're encouraging them to pass the ball and put the ball in areas where it is going to hurt other teams. They have taken that on board and we're winning games.
"We're getting behind the ball when we haven't got it and they are communicating with each other out on the pitch. Our discipline has been excellent."
Goals from Keigan Parker and Jim Lister sealed a 2-0 win for the Diamonds over Dunfermline Athletic at New Broomfield last weekend.
Bollan was delighted with the team effort which disposed of the Pars but gave a special mention to 31-year-old Parker who scored his third goal of the season with a stunning free-kick.
He added: "I thought it was his best performance since he came here. He's a willing runner and has got great qualities.
"Things maybe don't come off for him sometimes and he gets a bit of stick for it but folk don't realise what he does when he hasn't got the ball."
Airdrie, who have won four of their last six games, look set to be unchanged for the trip to Angus with defender Chris O'Neil back in the fold after missing much of the season due to Gilmore's groin.
Strike star Parker is looking forward to the crunch clash with Brechin and feels Airdrie's victory over the Pars proves they are good enough to stay in League One.
He said: "Dunfermline are a full-time team with a lot of good players.
"It was a great win for us and we've shown that we can mix it with the best of them."