Falkirk vs Airdrieonians
November 8, 2019
Leon McCann wants Airdrie to prove their title credentials by beating favourites Falkirk on their own patch.
The Hamilton loanee has performed well in back-to-back victories over Forfar Athletic and Dumbarton, but believes the Diamonds must now show that sparkle against higher-placed opponents.
After a couple of disappointing results, Airdrie turned things round with a thumping 4-1 win at Station Park before an early Calum Gallagher strike and Dale Carrick’s double saw the side’s poor form ended with a 3-1 win over Dumbarton last weekend.
McCann hopes the Diamonds faithful have helped the side to turn a corner.
“Everybody seems to be doing well as a team - recently it hasn’t been good enough, especially our home form, but we seem to have picked that up.
“The fans getting behind us on Saturday helped us a lot.”
The 19-year-old impressed as Hamilton’s U21s gave Airdrie a tough time in an early-season Tunnocks Caramel Wafer Cup tie, and joined the Diamonds on loan with fellow Accie Charlie Reilly shortly after.
Left-back McCann is enjoying life across Lanarkshire.
“I’m loving it here, it’s my first season in professional football at a senior level, and I’m enjoying every minute of it.
“Coming here on loan has been great for me and I’d love it if that could continue beyond January.”
Next up for the Diamonds is a trip to Falkirk to face the side who claimed first position in the table with a 2-0 win at Forfar last weekend.
Although the Diamonds currently occupy fourth spot, only two points separate them from the Bairns, and McCann is ready for what could be a crucial tie on Saturday.
“It’ll be a tough game, it was tough when we played them at home and we had a lot of defending to do.
“We didn’t make a lot of chances that day, but we need to be challenging the teams in the top three if we want to do anything in this league, so hopefully we can do more going forward this time.”
If results go Airdrie’s way on Saturday, a win could take the Diamonds to the top of the table - and Leon believes it’s a target he and his team-mates can achieve.
“I think we can go all the way. We’ve got more than enough to challenge for the title, and we’ve shown that in recent weeks.
“We need to start beating the teams above us, and Saturday gives us a chance to do that.
“We’re confident - we can’t not be confident after two convincing victories. If we take what we’ve been doing in recent weeks into Saturday’s game, we know we can get a result.
Diamonds manager Ian Murray believes his side are ready for the occasion.
“Falkirk are top of the league, but they’re only two points ahead of us and we have the chance to leapfrog them, so that’s our first incentive.
“They’ve got a really strong home record, so it will be a difficult game, but we go into it full of confidence and without any fear.”
The Airdrie boss is again without Scott Gallacher (knee), Adam Eckersley (rib) and Craig Thomson (arm) ahead of Saturday’s match.
Referee Steven Kirkland was the man in charge when the Diamonds won away at Dumbarton in September.
Falkirk have provided some information for supporters ahead of the match.
Saturday November 9, 2019
The Falkirk Stadium, Falkirk
Referee: Steven Kirkland
Assistants: Paul O’Neill, Billy Baxter