East Fife vs Airdrieonians
28th April 2017
Simon Mensing says it's time for Airdrie's players to step up with two games left to decide the Diamonds play-off fate.
The New Broomfield men are deadlocked on 46 points with three other teams as they seek the top four finish that would take them into the Championship play-off.
Despite a frustrating defeat to second-placed Alloa Athletic last weekend, experienced defender Mensing is still in positive mood ahead of Saturday's trip to promotion rivals East Fife.
"The Alloa result was a disappointment considering we dominated long spells of the game and they were content to sit back, especially when they got the goal.
"To lose is disappointing, but there were certainly a lot of positives to take out of it."
Results elsewhere saw East Fife, Brechin City and Queen's Park joining Airdrie on the 46 point mark, with the Diamonds slipping out of the top four on goal difference.
With two games remaining against the Fifers and Queen's Park, two wins would ensure Airdrie make it to the promotion play-offs.
Mensing says Saturday's objective is clear.
"It's good for the neutral and for exposure of the league - it must be entertaining for fans outside of it, but being part of it is pretty stressful!
"It's still in our own hands, and Saturday's game is as big as they come. We know getting the three points is a must."
With a lack of consistency hampering the Diamonds all season, Mensing says the time has come for he and his team-mates to prove their worth.
"It's time for everyone to step up. Big games like this are the reason you play the game, you want to be there at the end of the season fighting for something.
"Winning our last two games is important - mainly because we need those two wins to be sure of getting to the play-offs, but it would also see us going into them in good form.
"I know we're capable of doing it, and I'm sure we will."
Head coach Mark Wilson is also in confident mood ahead of the crucial tie.
"Obviously we would have liked to have secured a play-off position before now, but the way our results have gone leaves us with two huge games - and Saturday is the biggest one.
"There's no doubts over what we need to do, everyone understands what's required. We're still in a good position to reach third place, and I believe we've got the players to do it."
Those players won't include Hamilton loanee Jordan McGregor this weekend; the defender has failed to shake off an injury in time to make the squad. Captain Marc Fitzpatrick is the only other absentee as the Diamonds head to Methil.
Airdrie are unbeaten against the Fifers this season, with two draws and a win under their belt.
Iain Russell scored from the penalty spot in a 1-1 draw in the opening meeting at New Broomfield in September, before Andy Ryan's strike secured the points in the return fixture a month later.
It took a last-gasp Jack Leitch equaliser to earn a 2-2 home draw in January after goals from Jason Kerr and Ross Brown had turned around Ryan's opener.
Referee Scott Millar is in charge of his first Airdrie match this season.