Albion Rovers vs Airdrieonians
10th March 2017
Kieran MacDonald says a derby win would give Airdrie the confidence they need to get back on track.
The Diamonds travel to Coatbridge on Saturday aiming to halt a run of three defeats in a row, and the attacking full-back feels it could be exactly the game Airdrie need.
Last week saw a home defeat to ten-man Stranraer, and MacDonald feels a 56th minute save from Iain Russell's penalty was the turning point.
"When we missed the penalty the heads went down a wee bit. Sometimes it's harder to play against ten men because they sit in.
"We did get a goal back and I should have scored at the end to get a draw, but things just haven't been going our way the last couple of weeks."
The dip in form has seen Airdrie drop to fourth in League One, and the table is tighter than ever.
MacDonald admits results have been frustrating, but says nobody is looking over their shoulders yet.
"We're just concentrating on ourselves. We know we're a good enough team and we'll keep looking above us and not below us.
"One win could set us off on another run, and there's no better time to get it than this week."
This week of course sees the final Monklands derby of the season, and in the three games so far the away team has come out on top.
With Darren Young's side also struggling for form, Rovers have dropped to ninth place in the table.
MacDonald doesn't expect form to have much bearing when the teams take to the field.
"We beat Albion Rovers at their ground before, and it was a tough game as it always is there. A win this week would get everybody's confidence back and hopefully we can kick on from there.
"It'll be a fight, it always is in a local derby. It's hard to get the ball down and play on their park, but that's what we need to do because that's what we're best at."
And if another last-minute opportunity comes Kieran's way, will he find the net this time?
"Hopefully! All of my career goals have come from penalties and free kicks, so maybe I need to get back on them..."
Head coach Mark Wilson was also in positive mood as he looked forward to the match.
"We know what kind of game it's going to be. Rovers away was my first game in charge, and I'm expecting this one to be similar. Everybody knows the pitch isn't great, so you need to adapt the way you play.
"It'll be a physical battle as all derbies are, but as long as we go into it with the right frame of mind - which I'm certain we will - we've got players with the ability to cause them problems."
Ryan Conroy returns to the Airdrie squad, which is free of injury and suspension ahead of the derby showdown.
Colin Steven referees the tie.