Preview: Raith Rovers vs Airdrieonians
September 21, 2017
Kieran MacDonald feels that Airdrie have the ability to hold their own against any side in League One - and wants that to show against Raith Rovers.
The Diamonds travel to Kirkcaldy to face the league leaders on Saturday, after back-to-back defeats which have seen the side slip to eighth in the League One table.
MacDonald knows that Airdrie will need to be better than they were against East Fife last weekend.
"I felt we played in to their hands a bit. They wanted us to play the ball long, and we did - and we can't play like that, we're the kind of team that needs to get the ball down and play.
"Hopefully we can iron out the inconsistency, the boys want to do well this year so we need to avoid going into a bad run of form. All we can do is work hard to make sure that doesn't happen."
Barry Smith's free-scoring Raith have registered two 5-0 wins in their last three matches, but MacDonald doesn't feel that his attacking duties should be neglected in order to adopt a defensive stance.
"Scott (Stewart) and I both like to get forward to make passes and get the ball into the box, and I don't think we should stop doing what we're good at.
"We need to be well organised, and that's the main thing we've been working on this week.
"We've been looking at set-pieces, and I feel we need to start being more vocal too. We're still a young team and a lot of us are still learning, so we need to help each other out."
With a relatively inexperienced squad around him, Kieran is aware that confidence can play a huge part in the Diamonds' mentality.
"Confidence is a big factor - this league is so tight that usually whoever scores first goes on to win the game.
"We know Raith are a good team and they're scoring a lot of goals, so our aim is to get in at the break ahead or on level terms and take it from there.
"We're a good team, so we should be confident going into every game. We showed against Alloa and Albion Rovers how well we can play - we need to show that every week, starting on Saturday."
Marc Fitzpatrick remains sidelined for the Diamonds, while the fitness of Adam Brown and Ryan Conroy is being assessed.
Mat Northcroft referees Airdrie's first meeting with Rovers since 2013.