Preview: Airdrieonians vs East Fife
January 5, 2018
Marc Fitzpatrick says Airdrie’s home advantage can give them the edge as they aim to beat East Fife for the first time this season.
The Diamonds’ club captain has been sidelined since the beginning of the season when he suffered an injury setback after battling back from cruciate ligament damage, but is hopeful that a comeback is now in sight.
“I’m still doing my rehab - there are still a few niggles but I think that’s to be expected.
“I see the surgeon again on Monday and I’m hopeful that he’ll give me the go-ahead to get back to full training by the end of this month.”
Far from resting on his laurels, midfielder Fitzpatrick has been combining his rehab with a role assisting first team coach Stevie Findlay - all while completing his own coaching badges.
The 31-year-old was in the dugout on Tuesday as the Diamonds drew 2-2 with rivals Albion Rovers.
“Probably on reflection a draw was a fair result. In the first half we didn’t really create much, and it took them scoring to really get us playing.
“It’s just a hard one to take with the last kick of the ball, especially when we had chances to extend the lead. But it’s a point away from home, so we’ll take it and move on.”
The derby draw made it five games unbeaten for Airdrie, who haven’t lost since November’s 6-1 capitulation against Saturday’s opponents East Fife.
Marc wants to see the Diamonds make amends for two defeats against Darren Young’s men.
“We’ve definitely found it difficult against East Fife this season, they’re a good side.
“There wasn’t much in the first game, they won it with a penalty and while we didn’t really deserve to win it, I don’t think we deserved to lose either.
“Obviously we took a hiding in the away game, so we’ll be looking to try and set the record straight and give a better account of ourselves.
“Our home form is a lot better, so hopefully that will give us an advantage and we can kick on and get a result.”
Ryan Conroy remains sidelined for Airdrie, who otherwise have a full squad to choose from.
Saturday’s referee is David Lowe, who officiated the Diamonds 2-1 win at Cliftonhill in August.