Preview: Hamilton Academical vs Airdrieonians
July 26, 2018
Kieran MacDonald believes the Diamonds have what it takes to overcome Hamilton and progress to the next round of the Betfred Cup.
MacDonald - who won last season’s Player’s Player of the Year Award - has been ever present throughout Airdrie’s pre-season and Betfred schedules so far, and the defender particularly enjoyed Tuesday evening’s 4-1 win over Annan Athletic.
“I don’t think I’ve played in a game with so many good goals - possibly in my youth but not recently!
“It was a good performance from the boys and all of the goals were quality, so hopefully it was an entertaining game for the fans to watch.”
Having played at left-back for the majority of his 104 appearances in the Diamond, MacDonald has featured at centre-back in a back three since the tail end of last season.
The 25-year-old is enjoying the role in a new look Airdrie defence.
“I’m loving playing there, I feel as if I’m getting more of the ball and more chances to drive forward. To be honest I prefer playing there to playing at left-back or wing-back.
“I’ve played with a few of the new boys before, so I know some of them quite well. I feel the whole team is gelling well, so I’m looking forward to the league season starting.”
Before the Ladbrokes League One campaign kicks off, the Diamonds face the small matter of a Lanarkshire derby, with the added incentive of potential progression to the Betfred Cup knockout stages.
Kieran is looking forward to his return to New Douglas Park, having played eight first team games for the Accies in season 2014/15.
“I enjoyed my time there, but we obviously want to go there and get a result. We’ve performed well in the last two games, and in the second half against Livingston. We’ve shown that we’re a good side, so I fancy us to go there and get something.
“We’ve handled what other teams have thrown at us, the goals we’ve conceded have been from our own slackness. We’re confident we can cut that out on Saturday - and if we do, I’m sure we can go there and give them a good game.
Manager Stephen Findlay is anticipating an exciting derby.
“It’ll be a great challenge for us and we’re looking forward to it.
“They’re a Premiership side so we’ll obviously have to be at our best to go and get something from the game, but the mood in the squad is buoyant.”
The Diamonds boss confirmed that Leighton McIntosh will not be risked after receiving stitches in a head wound on Tuesday evening, and that the fitness of one or two others is being monitored.
Craig Thomson referees the derby clash.