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Stranraer vs Airdrieonians preview

11th December 2015

Airdrie travel to Stranraer on Saturday, and Alan Lithgow aims to take the Diamonds' cup form into the League One fixture.

The Lanarkshire men pick up their league campaign after a week off due to Stenhousemuir's Scottish Cup replay, but the previous Saturday saw the Diamonds record a fine 3:1 victory in their own third round tie.

Defender Lithgow was pleased with the scoreline, and the resultant draw against Premiership opposition.

"The result was good against Brechin. 

"It's always good to get into the next round of the cup and get the chance of playing a bigger team - which we have done"

With back to back league defeats before the win over Brechin, Airdrie have slipped to sixth in the table as attention turns back to the race for a top-four finish.

And Lithgow says the squad are focussed on getting back up the league despite having drawn top-flight opposition in the Scottish Cup fourth round.

"The game against Dundee United won't be a distraction. 

"We're not expected to get anything out the game as they're playing in the top league of Scottish football, so the pressure is off and if we get something out of the game it'll be a bonus.

"The league is the most important thing so the cup tie is a game to enjoy." 

With winter creeping in across the country conditions on grass can be heavy, but Alan insists the Diamonds can mix it up and get the results they need to rejoin the promotion-chasing pack.

"The league's quite tight at the moment, so a couple of good results and we'll be back in the play-off spot.

"Sometimes the football isn't going to be pretty - especially at this time of the year - but as long as we win, that's what it's all about.

"Stranraer is a place no team likes going to but we'll go down and fight our corner and hopefully come back up the road with the three points!"

Jim Lister was a surprise inclusion on the bench against Brechin, and the striker is sure to be in contention again ahead of the trip to Stair Park.

Caolan McAleer is available for selection after serving a cup ban, but Chris O'Neil is suspended.

John McKendrick will take charge of his second Airdrie game this season, having previously officiated when the Diamonds drew 1:1 with Dunfermline in September.

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