Preview: Airdrieonians vs Queen's Park
February 15, 2018
Chris O’Neil is happy with Airdrie’s performances since returning to the side - but says the Diamonds will need to be at their best to see of Queen’s Park.
O’Neil returned to the Excelsior on loan from Brechin City, and has already turned in excellent performances against Forfar Athletic and Raith Rovers.
The 22-year-old is aiming to continue his good form.
“It’s great to be back playing here - we’ve played well in the last two games. It feels good to be back playing games, so hopefully I can keep my place in the team.”
Chris’s performance on his second Diamonds debut at Forfar saw him named in the SPFL Team of the Week, but the full-back believes you’re only as good as your last result.
“First half against Raith, I thought we were the better team. We could have easily been a couple of goals up at half-time, but in the second half they put us under a lot more pressure.
“Raith are obviously going to be challenging for the title come the end of the season, so we were pleased with the performance but disappointed with the result.”
From facing the side at the top of the league, the Diamonds now come up against Queen’s Park - whose 2-0 win at East Fife lifted them off the bottom of the table last weekend.
O’Neil isn’t expecting an easy afternoon.
“It’s a big game - we’re always looking up, but they’re not that far off us so it’s a game we need to win.
“Every team in this league will give you a difficult game. We won at Forfar, but we had to play well to get the points - Queen’s Park will be the same, they won’t want to go down or be in the play-offs.”
“Gus McPherson’s teams are always very fit and they’ll be in our faces, but we’ve got guys that are up for the battle as well as being good ball players.
“If we play the way we can, we’ve got every reason to be confident.”
Manager Stevie Findlay echoed O’Neil’s sentiments.
“It’s always difficult when teams are fighting for their lives, but there really are no easy games.
“We’ve got a good record at home, so we’ll look to capitalise on that and get a win that gets us another bit closer to safety - it’s important that we do that as quickly as we can.”
The Diamonds boss confirmed that Ryan Conroy has resumed training, but Saturday’s game will come too soon for the midfielder. Dan Higgins is also back in training after a niggling injury delayed his involvement after joining on loan.
Referee Craig Napier’s only other Airdrie game this season was the 5-0 Betfred Cup defeat at St Mirren in July.