December 18, 2020
Falkirk vs Airdrieonians
Kyle MacDonald says team spirit and confidence are the keys to three points against Falkirk as Airdrie look to lift themselves back up the table this weekend.
The Diamonds slipped to sixth place in the League One standings after successive defeats against East Fife and Montrose, and defender MacDonald was unhappy with last weekend’s home loss to the Angus side.
“Obviously it was very disappointing - it was similar to our games against them last season, very tight and unfortunately they managed to score and we didn’t.
“We all need to up our game a wee bit - if we create more chances, results will improve.
“The manager’s talking a lot about team spirit just now - we know we’ve had a couple of bad results but if we stick together we’ll get through it.”
In an unprecedented 27-game season, Sunday will see the completion of the first of three rounds of fixtures as Airdrie take on league leaders Falkirk.
It’s been an up-and-down start to the season for the Diamonds with some impressive victories alongside disappointing defeats.
MacDonald believes a run of wins would change the overall picture.
“Inconsistency has been a problem for us, but this league is so tight that a good run can put you right up at the top.
“We’re still obviously hopeful we can do that as soon as possible, and we know that a win on Saturday could take us within a point of second place.”
The match sees the Diamonds return to The Falkirk Stadium since perhaps the most dramatic afternoon of last season, with Calum Gallagher’s stoppage-time header sparking wild celebrations among the large travelling support.
There’s a similar backdrop to Sunday's match, with the Bairns sitting top of the table after an impressive start to their league campaign, and Kyle believes that he and his team-mates can take inspiration from last year’s unbeaten record against the title favourites.
“There’s no better game to win. Falkirk were top of the league last year when we went there and got a last-minute winner - we did well against them in all of the games.
“We’re looking to do that again, keep things tight and get ourselves back in contention.
“We’ve got to be confident every time we step onto the park - we’ve got a squad capable of winning and we need to take that belief into the game.”
Manager Ian Murray believes that a win would be the ideal Christmas gift for the Airdrie faithful.
“It’s another really tough match, Falkirk are doing well but we performed well against them last season with a great win away from home.
“We need to pick ourselves up after two defeats, and there’s no better time to do it. Falkirk are the ones with momentum right now, but we don’t go into any game fearing anything and we know that this league can throw up surprises.”
Defender Harlain Mbayo and striker Ally Roy have resumed training for the Diamonds, but it’s expected that Sunday's match will come too soon for both players. Patrick Pyott also misses out.
The match will be streamed live on Falkirk TV - you can purchase access using the link below.
Sunday December 20, 2020
The Falkirk Stadium, Falkirk
Alastair Mather, Chris Phillips