Airdrieonians vs Hamilton Academical
July 26, 2019
Nat Wedderburn believes Airdrie’s early performances show that the Diamonds are capable of taking a Premiership scalp when neighbours Hamilton visit on Saturday.
The final Betfred match is a Lanarkshire derby at the Penny Cars Stadium with the winner securing second place in Group F - and the chance to go through to the next round as one of the best placed runners-up.
28-year-old midfielder Nat is looking forward to the tie, having joined the Diamonds from Raith Rovers in June.
The big Englishman is enjoying his start at the Penny Cars Stadium, revealing that the club’s plans were key in his decision to sign.
“I’m settling in well, everyone’s made me feel welcome. It helps that there’s been a big player turnaround so everyone’s getting to know each other, but I think everyone’s gelled pretty quickly.”
“It was the ambition of the club that attracted me here - their plans for the season and where they want to go.”
Those plans have gotten off to a promising start with qualification to the Betfred knockout stages still a possibility going in to the final matchday.
Wedderburn is pleased with the Diamonds’ early displays.
“I think we’ve done well, it was a good performance away to Partick and after the first fifteen minutes against Clyde we controlled the game.
“The Queen’s Park game on Wednesday was always going to be a difficult one, but I think we improved in the second half. It was nice to get the goal - I don’t get many so don’t expect me to start rattling them in!”
While results elsewhere will play in a hand in Airdrie's Betfred fate, the Diamonds know a victory on Saturday is required first and foremost.
Nat is relishing the challenge against top tier opponents in the shape of Accies.
“It’ll be another tough game, obviously we need the win to go through so it should be a good one.
“We have every reason to be confident, we’ve been putting in good performances and we know we’re capable of winning the game.”
Manager Ian Murray said “It’s another good game for us. In terms of progressing to the next round of the tournament, it’s probably a ‘winner takes all’ scenario.
“I fully expect Hamilton to come here and play attacking football.”
The Airdrie boss also confirmed the continued absence of goalkeeper Reece Willison who is likely to miss another week with a hand injury. Defender Kyle MacDonald and midfielder Kurtis Roberts are rated as doubts.
Experienced whistler Gavin Duncan is the man in the middle for the Lanarkshire derby.
Issue 2 of matchday magazine Diamonds is available in the Club Shop and around the ground before Saturday’s match. Packed with the usual news, match reports and features, this issue also features an overview of this season’s rule changes, a look at former Diamond Drew Busby’s exploits in Europe, and a fan's take on the close season transfer activity. Don't forget to pick up your copy!