Brechin City vs Airdrieonians preview
22nd January 2016
Chris O'Neil says competition for places is healthy as Airdrie's new arrivals settle in ahead of Saturday's trip to Brechin.
O'Neil has been primarily used in an unfamiliar left-back role this season, but the defender is pleased that the Diamonds' four new signings are integrating well - even if it means he has to fight for his place.
"With the game being off Saturday we got a wee training session in despite all the snow, so I think that will have helped the new boys gel with the group.
"Competition is good - it helps you play better.
"The new players are looking good so it will be hard to keep my place, but it's a challenge that I look forward to."
Last weekend's match at home to Forfar was subject to a late call-off when the match referee became concerned about the visibility of the markings on the New Broomfield pitch.
The Diamonds face another Angus team on Saturday, this time away from home, as they visit bottom side Brechin City.
Airdrie certainly hold the upper hand over Darren Dods' side so far this season with two league wins and a Scottish Cup victory already under their belt, but O'Neil doesn't expect an easy ride at Glebe Park.
"Brechin are a good team with some talented individuals.
"It's always a hard place to go with the tight pitch, but I think we have every chance after a good performance against Dundee United in the last game."
Of course the Diamonds lost that one to a late setpiece, but Chris feels that the changes implemented by new boss Eddie Wolecki Black are starting to show results.
"I think realistically we have to be aiming for the play-offs. There are a lot of teams battling it out for those spots, but if we continue to work hard and work as a team then we should definitely be up there at the end of the season."
New boys David Ferguson, Kieran MacDonald and Hugo Faria are still waiting to make their Airdrie debuts after last week's call-off. Neil Parry and David Cox remain sidelined through suspension.
Hosts Brechin were also victims of the weather last weekend, although their match at Stenhousemuir did start before being abandoned at half-time with Stenny 1-0 up.
Dene Shields has left the club under freedom of contract.
John McKendrick is the referee for the Glebe Park showdown.