Queen's Park preview
5th August 2016
Conor McLaughlin says the disappointment at losing a two-goal lead to Queen's Park will be Airdrie's motivation at Hampden on Saturday.
The Diamonds return to the national stadium this weekend for the Ladbrokes League One curtain-raiser, having won on penalties following a 3-3 draw in the Betfred Cup only ten days ago.
McLaughlin had a part to play in two of the goals, and the attacking midfielder is pleased with his introduction to the first team.
"It's a big achievement for me, it's a goal that I was aiming for at the start of the season.
"Now that I've got there I need to keep working hard to keep myself involved with the team."
The 19-year-old playmaker is the son of former Celtic winger Brian McLaughlin, who was part of the side which won the Scottish Cup in 1995 - beating Airdrie in the final.
Conor has shown glimpses of the trickery and fancy footwork that his father was known for - and is certainly not short of confidence, scoring a cheeky "Panenka" penalty in the Betfred Cup shoot-out.
"Personally I think I've still got more to show. As for the team, I think we've played well in spells. At other times we've been slack, but I'm sure we'll get there once we sort all the wee negatives out."
Those negatives were evident in the second half at Hampden as the Diamonds gave away a 3-1 lead to draw the match.
Conor says he and his team-mates are spurred on by that.
"It was a big disappointment to throw away the lead after playing so well in the first half. We need to remain focussed and go again this Saturday.
"It's a motivation, big-time. We'll take it on board and hopefully we can progress and beat them by playing the way we did in the first half."
First team coach Kevin McBride is in agreement.
"We know what we're coming up against having played them a couple of weeks ago.
"We didn't defend as a team particularly well, but we're going to be ready for it and try to cut out the mistakes that we made."
Ryan Conroy and Kieran MacDonald are both struggling to be fit for the match, and will be given late checks.
Former Arsenal man Daniel Boateng has agreed terms with the club, but is awaiting international clearance before his contract can be confirmed.
Referee David Lowe takes charge of the league season opener at Hampden.