22nd July 2016
Rohan Ferguson believes Saturday's tie against Stenhousemuir will give the best indication yet of how Airdrie are shaping up for their league campaign.
The Diamonds go into the match following defeats at the hands of Partick Thistle and Queen of the South, but Saturday will see them tested against League One opposition for the first time this season.
Ferguson signed a two-year deal in the summer amid a host of interest from Premiership clubs, and the goalkeeper explained his reason for choosing to stay with Airdrie.
"The offer of first-team football made my mind up. With me still being 18 that had a big part to play.
"I could have gone to a big club and played Under 20s or sat on the bench, but I didn't want to do that, I want to become an established number one."
Evaluating the campaign so far - pre-season and two cup matches - Rohan is pleased with how things are shaping up.
"Obviously we're trying to play the right way, so that's encouraging. I think the defeats would be more worrying if we weren't playing well, but we're at least trying to get the right things in place."
Stenhousemuir visit on Saturday, giving the Diamonds their first look at a side they'll face four times on league duty, and Ferguson thinks it will be a better gauge of what to expect over the SPFL campaign.
"We stepped up against Partick Thistle, as we did against Dundee United last season, so sometimes we can raise our game against higher ranked opposition - but hopefully we can improve again when we face Stenhousemuir.
"A win would be a big boost because they're a team from our league. Obviously it's a cup game, so if the result doesn't go our way I don't think it will be crucial, but we're certainly hoping to win it."
Coach Donald Jennow is expecting an improvement from Tuesday's performance.
"Tuesday night was disappointing for us, so we will all be looking to respond positively against Stenhousemuir.
"After setting a good standard against Partick on Friday we weren't able to perform at that level. We will have off days but it is important to aim for as much consistency as possible.
"Stenhousemuir have made a number of changes to their squad over the summer but still have the core of their team from last year.
"Jack Smith has a very good goal scoring record and so he certainly adds pace and a goal threat. Vinnie Berry won promotion with Queens Park last year so their additions will help them."
Hugo Faria (head) and Marc Fitzpatrick (ankle) will be assessed by the medical team today before a decision is made on their fitness.
Gavin Duncan is the referee.