Airdrieonians vs Dunfermline Athletic preview

13th November 2015

Caolan McAleer is delighted to be back in the starting XI - and says there is no pressure on the Diamonds as they prepare to face title favourites Dunfermline Athletic.

Northern Irish midfielder McAleer was red-carded at Brechin in his first start after re-signing for the Club in the summer, and has mostly featured from the bench since then.

However the winger has started the last two matches - a draw with Albion Rovers and last week's win at Forfar - and he's happy to be back in the fold.

"It feels good to be back playing and even better that the team are up to third in the league now.

"I feel I'm playing okay, but i have a lot more to offer - and I want to chip in with a few goals as well."

McAleer's reintroduction has coincided with the first appearances of the season for fellow wide-man Nicky Cadden, and the changes have seen four goals in two games for Airdrie - all from crosses.

The Diamonds got off to an explosive start at Station Park last Saturday, goals from Alan Lithgow, David Cox and Marc Fitzpatrick putting them 3-0 up within half an hour.

Forfar did stage something of a comeback, but Airdrie were able to hold on for the win and McAleer was pleased with the result.

"We usually hadn't been starting games that well, so it was good to get a 3-0 lead so early on but conceding before half time wasn't ideal."

It's back to New Broomfield tomorrow for the second meeting of the season with bookies title favourites Dunfermline.

George Hunter silenced the home crowd when the sides met at East End Park in September, but Michael Moffat's second-half equaliser earned a draw for Allan Johnston's Pars.

A whirlwind start to the season has subsided for the Fifers and they currently have to settle for second place, a point behind Ayr United.

The gap to Airdrie in third is bigger, but could be cut to just four points in the event of a home win tomorrrow.

Between the visitors' superior budget and full-time status, it's a big ask for Gary Bollan's squad, but Caolan feels they are up to the task.

"We know we can compete with the likes of Dunfermline as we gave them a hard game the last time we played them. 

"Also we have nothing to lose as we are underdogs, so there's no pressure."

Long-term absentees Jim Lister and Scott Smith continue to work towards their comebacks for the Diamonds, while Pars captain Callum Fordyce remains sidelined by a broken leg sustained in September.

The referee is Brian Colvin.

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