Preview: St Mirren vs Airdrieonians
July 28, 2017
Dean Cairns wants the Diamonds to sparkle against St Mirren and set themselves up for a successful league campaign.
The 19-year-old is relishing life in the first team after progressing through every level of the Airdrieonians Academy, and has notched up impressive displays in each of the Diamonds' Betfred Cup matches.
Defender Cairns was happy to claim his first senior goal in Tuesday's 2-1 defeat against Partick Thistle.
"It was a good feeling but it all happened so quickly - at the time I was just focussed on getting the ball back to the centre circle!
"Of course looking back now, it was a great moment for me."
It proved to be a consolation goal for Airdrie as Premiership side Partick won on the night, but Cairns felt he and his team-mates were unlucky not to take something from the tie.
"We knew it was always going to be an uphill task getting a result, but we had nothing to lose out there and putting on a positive performance and competing was our main objective.
"I felt we played some good stuff in spells and in the end we probably felt a touch disappointed we didn't grab an equaliser. The fans were excellent as well!
"On a personal level, I'm learning all the time playing against good opposition such as Partick, so hopefully I can keep improving and stake a claim to remain in the team."
With qualification from Group H now out of Airdrie's reach, the Diamonds will be looking to hold on to third spot ahead of a tough League One campaign.
Dean is expecting the Buddies to make life difficult as Airdrie make their first ever trip to the Paisley 2021 Stadium.
"We found ourselves in a very tough group this year and St Mirren will be another good test for us.
"They'll be looking to bounce back after their last defeat, so we've got to take the positives from Tuesday's game and give another good account of ourselves.
"Hopefully that will give us a good platform to start the league campaign next week."
Craig Napier referees the Diamonds' final Betfred group tie.