Preview: East Fife vs Airdrieonians
September 13, 2018
Kieran Millar is looking forward to seeing some familiar faces - but insists there will be no old pals act when the Diamonds take on East Fife.
The former Hamilton and Stenhousemuir midfielder won the player of the year award at Bayview last season, and will be looking to make an impact against his former club having recently returned from a groin strain.
“Originally we thought it was just a little niggle but every time I tried to come back it was still there.
“It’s been really frustrating, because I haven’t started a league game yet. The Betfred Cup was a good start, but unfortunately it’s been delayed since then.”
After being a fixture in midfield in those early games, Millar now finds himself with a fight on his hands to get back into the side.
Having come on as a substitute in the last three matches, the 24-year-old is philosophical about the situation.
“There’s a lot of good competition for places all over the park, and especially in midfield.
“That’s a good thing, and I think you need that when the club has ambitions of pushing for the top end of the table.”
The latest of those appearances from the bench came last weekend against Sutton United in the Irn Bru Cup. The Diamonds lost 1-0, but Millar felt it was a decent performance.
“It was strange facing a team from England, we didn’t really know what to expect. We had done analysis on their team, but they made quite a few changes.
“I thought we played quite well, but maybe didn’t create as many chances as we should have. They got their goal and sat in a bit, but we should probably have been able to carve them open a bit more.”
With Airdrie returning to league duty this week, a trip to East Fife awaits. Kieran is keen to face up to his former employers.
“I enjoyed my time there, it’s a good club with a lot of good people. I’m looking forward to going back and seeing a lot of familiar faces.
“It’ll be a difficult game, it can be a hard place to go - the wind there means the conditions can be quite temperamental! Of course, East Fife have also signed a few good players so it’ll be interesting to see how we match up.
“I don’t want to jinx it, but with the squad we have I think we can be confident against any team.”
Manager Stevie Findlay was keen not to dwell on last season’s trips to Bayview - a 6-1 defeat in November, and March’s stoppage-time heartbreak - a 2-1 loss with Kyle Wilkie grabbing the late winner for the Fifers.
“Our trips there last season were horrible, but that’s last season. We’ve moved on - it’s a different squad with different character.
“We go there with vigour and renewed freshness, and hopefully we’ll get the result that we want.”
The Diamonds boss also confirmed that he has a full squad of players available for the trip, with the exception of goalkeeper Scott Gallacher.