Preview: Airdrieonians vs Arbroath
January 25, 2017
New Diamond Dale Carrick instantly endeared himself to the Airdrie faithful with a goal 90 seconds into his debut - and now the striker is gunning for Arbroath.
Former Hearts and Kilmarnock ace Carrick joined from Livingston this month, and his first impressions of his new club are positive.
“I’ve been impressed by the standard - there’s a good bunch of boys at the club and we’re all in it together to try and improve our position.
“I’m delighted to be involved with such an aspiring team who really want to push for it.”
That push suffered a setback at Stair Park two weeks ago as Airdrie lost 3-2 to Stranraer, ending an six-match unbeaten run.
The game had started promisingly for the Diamonds with Carrick opening his account inside two minutes.
“I can’t complain about my start - after my first couple of touches the ball was in the net!
“I just need to keep that momentum up now and get more goals for the team, that was the main reason the gaffer brought me here, so hopefully I can repay him.”
The quick fire debut goal was assisted by another new signing, Darryl Duffy. Despite the somewhat unlucky defeat, the new look frontline showed plenty of promise in their link-up play - a fact which pleases Carrick.
“Darryl’s experience makes him a great strike partner, and that will only improve as the season goes on.
“With every game we play we’ll start to understand each other a bit better and hopefully that will translate into goals and assists for both of us.”
With attention turning to this week’s fixture, Airdrie fans will be hoping to banish memories from the last time the sides met - the 7-1 reversal at Gayfield in October.
Dale knows how difficult Saturday’s task will be.
“I played against Arbroath when I was on loan at Cowdenbeath last season, so I know they’ve got a good squad who want to play football.
“They’re showing this year that they’re a very good team and they’re tough to beat, even though they just came up in the summer.
“I think it’s going to be a difficult game, but that’s something that we need to face and we’ll work hard to get something from it.”
Diamonds boss Stevie Findlay is focussed on the three points, and says performances like the one at Gayfield can’t be tolerated.
“We’ve got to show people that we’re much better than we were on that day.
"We’ve strengthened since then and we’ve seen big improvements throughout the squad. We’re confident going into Saturday’s game.”
New signings Ross Brown and Willie Muir are both available for selection, but the game comes too soon for Ryan Conroy as he recovers from an ankle injury.
Referee Steven Reid has already overseen three Airdrie matches this season, the opening day loss at Forfar, October’s 2-2 draw at Ayr and the Scottish Cup defeat to Cove Rangers.