October 30, 2020
Airdrieonians vs Dumbarton
Calum Gallagher says every point is crucial as he aims to help the Diamonds get back on track against former club Dumbarton on Saturday.
The striker was at the centre of a controversial moment against Partick Thistle last weekend as a strong penalty claim was denied before the Jags grabbed the winner at Firhill.
Despite the 2-1 defeat, Gallagher feels Airdrie’s spells of dominance showed encouraging signs for the season ahead.
“We’re disappointed we didn’t get anything because I think for large spells we were on top. I think we showed a slightly different side, it was maybe the longest we’ve gone controlling the tempo of the game.
“Partick have quality players and won it with a bit of a wonder goal, and I think that was the difference on the day - but we take a lot of positives from our play and it’s now a case of living up to that and using it as a baseline.”
The defeat made it a win and a loss for the Diamonds in their opening fixtures following the opening day victory over Peterhead. With a switch of venue handing Airdrie an unexpected home tie against Dumbarton this weekend, Gallagher knows the importance of a return to winning ways.
“It’s the old cliche of one game at a time. With the condensed league this year, points are more valuable than ever, so it’s tough to put markers down as to where we need to be and when.
“We need to approach every game in the right manner - recognise every week that we can win and we need to win.”
With 14 goals in his Diamonds debut season, Gallagher enjoyed a personal battle with strike partner Dale Carrick, who finished the curtailed campaign on 13 strikes.
Carrick already has two goals to his name this season, with Gallagher yet to get off the mark - but looking forward to reigniting the race to be top scorer.
“I’ve had a couple of half-chances so far, but it’s not something that I’m too worried about it. I had a slow start last season as well, I scored against Queen’s Park in the cup then I think I had one in the space of two months.
“Right now I’m concentrating on doing enough for the team to stay on the park, because I know that when it does click or when the right chance falls to me, I’ll be there to finish.
“It’s a blessing that we’ve got Dale here who is so sharp and starts so well. Hopefully he can continue that while I’m catching up with him - I’m hoping that less of our goals come from penalties so he doesn’t run away with it!”
Saturday sees Calum lineup against his former club, having left the Sons for Airdrie last June.
The 26-year-old frontman knows the Diamonds face another difficult afternoon, but is approaching the match in confident mood.
“Dumbarton are classically tough to beat - as are Jim Duffy’s teams in general. They’ll be well organised and it will be a battle, especially with the conditions.
“It will be a tough test, and it will require us to be as good as, if not better than, last week. We need to approach it in the same manner - we can’t pick and choose when to show up, we need to attack every game.”
Manager Ian Murray wants to get back on track after last weekend’s defeat.
“We’re still smarting a little bit from last week so we’re looking to get the three points. If we do that then it’s a solid start to the campaign.
“With Dumbarton being off last week, they’ve had a week’s rest so they should be fresh, so we know we’ll have to be sharp and work hard.”
Ally Roy (wrist) remains the only injury concern for the Diamonds.
Saturday October 31, 2020
Penny Cars Stadium, Dumbarton
Graham Chambers, Blair Fraser