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Preview: Airdrieonians vs raith rovers

August 23, 2018

Grant Gallagher wants Airdrie to dispel talk of the gulf between part-time and full-time teams when they face Raith Rovers this weekend.


The Diamonds midfielder is enjoying his start to the season after signing from Dumbarton this summer.


“I’ve settled in really well, but I think everyone has - it’s been really easy for us with the trip away at the start of pre-season, and the guys that were already here making the new boys welcome.


“I think you can see that from the performances in pre-season and into the start of the league.”


With an intensive pre-season and Betfred Cup campaign behind them, the Diamonds have won their two away games in League One, losing at home to Montrose in between.


Gallagher says the response from the Diamonds - a 3-0 Irn Bru Cup win at Berwick and a 2-1 victory at Stenhousemuir - has been pleasing.


“Everybody was expecting big things because pre-season went well, then when we lost everyone thought ‘is this going to be Airdrie again?’ 


“We’ve responded well and that shows character - you’re never going to go through a full season without losing, so it’s good that we’ve responded positively.


“It’s always been hard to get consistency in this league - I’ve never been able to explain it, but even this early we’ve seen that all the favourites for the title have had ups and downs already.”


One of the teams tipped for a title challenge is Raith Rovers, who have been made the bookies favourites as the only full-time club in the division.


27-year-old Gallagher believes that can go in Airdrie’s favour on Saturday.


“Being made favourites can go against a team, because it puts more pressure on them. It’s easy to get yourself up for those games, because you want to prove there’s not a gulf between part-time and full-time. I think we showed that in the game against Hamilton.”


“Judging by our recent performances, I think we’re definitely capable of getting a win. Raith have had a tricky start so they’ll be looking to respond, but we’re looking forward to that challenge.”


Will a result against Raith make the Diamonds one of the teams to beat? Grant says they already are.


“From talking to players at other teams, I know that people are already expecting us to be one of the teams that do something this year.


“It’s up to us to show that we're capable of living up to expectations.”


Manager Stephen Findlay wants his side to show they can perform at home as well as away.


“It’s important that we win our home games - there’s no reason we shouldn’t be winning at home against anybody this season.


“We’ll take the game to Raith, and hopefully our quality and fighting spirit will mean that it’s our day.”


On the club’s injury situation, Findlay added: “We’re hopeful that Kyle Wilkie and Kieran Millar will be available for selection, but the game may come too soon for Darryl Duffy.


“Leighton McIntosh - or ‘Iron Man’ as we’re starting to call him - is fine after getting his ear stitched back on!”


Scott Gallacher remains sidelined with the goalkeeper awaiting an exploratory operation to determine how long he’ll be out.

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