Preview: Livingston vs Airdrieonians
July 21, 2017
Cammy Russell was delighted with his debut double, and hopes there is more to come against Livingston.
The teen striker grabbed a brace against Stranraer on his competitive bow after netting three times against Gala Fairydean and Clyde in pre-season.
Russell (19) was pleased with how the Diamonds' season opener went.
"I was happy with it, to be fair! I didn't know I was starting until the day of the game, so it was great to be involved and get the win.
"Personally I always find it's helpful to have a good pre-season. If I don't then I tend to struggle throughout the season with injuries, so it was good to hit the ground running and get a couple of early goals."
Andy Ryan was also on the scoresheet as Airdrie notched up a 3-1 Group H win over the Blues, and Russell believes it was an important performance against a League One rival.
"It was a good game to judge where we're at and I thought we did quite well.
"We took our chances, and if we do that throughout the season we'll be alright."
Livingston top Group H having beaten St Mirren in midweek. The newly-promoted Championship side drew 1-1 with Partick Thistle last weekend, taking the "bonus" point with a penalty shoot-out win.
Russell sees no reason why Airdrie can't repeat Tuesday's feat when they visit the Tony Macaroni Arena on Saturday.
"I think we've got a chance of getting something.
"If we can put away our chances like we did against Stranraer and catch them on the break once or twice, I'm sure we'll get a goal or two."
Cammy has every right to be confident after an impressive pre-season and a man-of-the-match winning debut performance, but has he set himself any targets for the forthcoming season?
"I just want to play as much as I can. A couple more goals would be nice too!"
Diamonds coach Donald Jennow led the team to their midweek victory, and he was impressed by Russell.
"What a debut - he did very, very well. He's a professional lad, he looks after himself and he's keen to learn and he went into that environment and coped with it brilliantly.
"We shouldn't overlook the work that he and Chucky did as a partnership either, the way they worked together was pleasing."
Looking ahead to Saturday's tie, Jennow expects a difficult challenge.
"It's going to be really tough - I watched Livingston against Partick Thistle and I thought they were excellent.
"We're looking forward to it, and the boys can take a lot of confidence from the Stranraer game."
Mike Roncone is the referee for the visit to West Lothian