Airdrieonians vs Livingston
17th February 2017
Iain Russell wants to make up for the goals he scored against Airdrie - by netting for the Diamonds against his old club Livingston.
The frontman scored 44 goals in a three year spell at Almondvale, including several against the team he supported as a boy. Now "Beany" is turning out for his beloved Airdrie, and hopes to fire his team to victory in Saturday's top of the table clash.
The Diamonds go into Saturday's match following a free weekend after last week's match at Brechin was postponed, but Russell is hopeful he and his team-mates can replicate the stunning second half display produced against Peterhead one week earlier.
"Performance-wise and results-wise we had been on a poor run, and even the first half against Peterhead felt like it was going the same way.
"Saying that, once we got the goal it gave the team confidence and it was a much better second half performance, more like how we were playing when we were on our good run a couple of months back."
Russell has been deployed in a deeper role in recent weeks, but the 34-year-old insists he's happy to play anywhere.
"I'm used to being upfront and scoring goals, but if it's Chucky upfront putting the ball in the net I'm just as happy.
"As an Airdrie fan, I just want to win games. I'll do my bit working hard for the team even if it's more defensively than I'm used to. If the other boys are winning games for us, I'm happy as long as I'm playing."
Table-toppers Livingston come to visit on Saturday, and Airdrie have failed to register a win in two league games and one Scottish cup tie against the Lions.
Russell is looking forward to facing his former club, and he recalls the words of his grandfather, Broomfield legend Ian McMillan.
"I remember my papa telling me he was happy for me to score against Airdrie - as long as Airdrie won!
"Livi had a few good results against Airdrie when I was there and I scored a few goals, so it would be nice to get a goal on Saturday. They're the only team I haven't scored against.
"Again though, if it's somebody else scoring I would take that - but it would be nice to get a wee goal and to get a win, and I know my papa would be happier this time!"
An Airdrie win would see the gap between the sides close to eight points, and Iain is confident it can be done.
"I'm always confident. I think we're in a better position to face them than we have been previously, and we're going into the game off the back of a good result."
Midfielder Jack Leitch is suspended for Airdrie, and loanee Jordan MacGregor is rated "touch and go" by boss Mark Wilson after sustaining an ankle injury in the Peterhead match.
The Diamonds head coach added: "Livingston will be looking at this match as an opportunity to increase the gap, but we're obviously thinking the opposite.
"If we get a win on Saturday it brings us that wee bit closer to them and there's still enough games for us to make things interesting come the last few weeks."
Referee Stephen Finnie takes charge of the New Broomfield fixture, his first Airdrie match of the season.