Albion Rovers vs Airdrieonians preview

11th September 2015

Chris O'Neil is excited about his first trip to Cliftonhill, but the defender is critical of his own performances this season.

O'Neil has been playing in the left-back role instead of his favoured right-back berth, and while the Diamonds have achieved their best start to a league season since 2001/02, the amiable 20-year-old has been rather harsh on himself.

"I don't think I have started the season too great, I need to do much better personally than how I have been playing. 

"I'm just happy to have been in the starting eleven recently with so much competition for places, but I need to improve my game.

"I think we are playing quite well as a team though, to win three games in a row shows we are doing something right. 

"I think we can always improve and as the season goes on I think we will improve and hopefully get a lot more wins and push up the table."

Airdrie fans will have no complaints if their side's form - improved or otherwise - continues on Saturday as they visit Monklands rivals Albion Rovers.

O'Neil was an unused substitute in last season's Petrofac Cup draw at New Broomfield which saw the Coatbridge men progress on penalties, but has yet to make his Cliftonhill bow.

"It's exciting. I've never played at their ground, and I'm sure there will be a good crowd on Saturday. 

"I went to school in Coatbridge so I can't wait for the game - and hopefully to get another three points."

The big question on Diamond fans' lips is whether Gary Bollan's men can continue their winning streak. Chris thinks so.

"If we play the way we know we can and put in a good performance, I don't see why not.

"It will be a very tough game, Albion Rovers have started the season well, but if we play to our strengths then we have a great chance of getting four wins in a row."

Jim Lister remains sidelined for Airdrie, although Marc Fitzpatrick and Kevin McBride both got some game time with the U20s this week.

Jordan Morton missed last week's win over Cowdenbeath but may be available for the short trip to Coatbridge, and David van Zanten is being assessed after picking up a hip knock during the match.

Referee Mike Roncone is in charge of the first Monklands derby of the season.

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