Preview: Airdrieonians vs Dumbarton
November 23, 2018
Kieran MacDonald believes new boss Ian Murray's influence is beginning to show, and the Diamonds defender is hopeful that Airdrie can overcome the gaffer's old side Dumbarton to proceed in the Scottish Cup.
The Sons visit the Penny Cars Stadium on William Hill Scottish Cup duty on Saturday, and while drawing a team from the same league usually provokes groans from supporters, there's more than a little intrigue about this week's third round tie as the Diamonds face the side where Ian Murray began his managerial career.
After two wins in a row under Murray, MacDonald believes that the new manager is beginning to make his mark on the Diamonds.
"There have been some changes at training, and we're starting to see the results on the pitch. Every manager has different ideas of how to play, and it's our job as players to implement those ideas.
"There's more fight about us - last week even when we went two goals behind, we always believed that we would come back."
That comeback was completed in a breathtaking second half against East Fife, with Sean Crighton's goal just before half-time giving Airdrie the impetus to complete an impressive 4-2 win. Darryl Duffy (2) and Kyle Wilkie were the Diamonds' other goalscorers.
With the win following a 2-1 victory at Stranraer, fans could be forgiven for thinking this weekend's cup tie is an unwelcome distraction from the league campaign, but MacDonald disagrees.
"We want to win every game, no matter the competition, so even though it's a cup game we don't want anything to interrupt our momentum.
"We want to get through to the next round like everybody else, so we'll be going into it with the same attitude as any other game."
While the Scottish Cup holds some magical memories for Airdrie fans of a certain vintage, recent years have proven more difficult. MacDonald has had little cup success to savour throughout his career.
"Personally I've never really got that far in the cup, but the games are always a bit special. As I say, you want to get through and play in the big games and proceed as far as you can.
"It's great for the fans if you can get a decent draw, it either means a good atmosphere at home or a big away day."
Airdrie's first test of this season's competition comes against Dumbarton, who also have a new man in the dugout in the shape of Jim Duffy.
The sides have already met in League One this season, Brad Spencer and Cammy Russell trading goals in a 1-1 draw back in September.
Despite the managerial changes, Kieran expects a similarly cagey match.
"Dumbarton have got good players, and we saw in the league game here how tight it's going to be - but we're the home team, so we'll be looking to take advantage of that.
"Last week was a good home win, so we're looking to build on that. Hopefully that means we'll be in the draw for the next round."
Manager Ian Murray is looking forward to facing his opposite number.
Saturday November 24, 2018
Penny Cars Stadium, Airdrie
Refereee: Steven Kirkland
Assistants: Ivan Stankovic, Jonathan Gall
"I know Jim Duffy well, he was assistant manager when I was at Norwich, and I know he'll have his side well organised so I'm expecting another tight game."
The Diamonds boss confirmed that aside from long-term absentee Scott Gallacher, Airdrie have no injury worries ahead of Saturday's tie.