April 26, 2021
Airdrieonians vs Montrose
Paul McKay wants Airdrie to return to their recent good form, knowing that a home win over Montrose would be a huge step towards the play-offs.
The Diamonds slipped to a 1-0 defeat at Firhill in the proverbial game of two halves on Saturday, bringing a four-match unbeaten run to an end.
Midfielder McKay thinks the second half revival against Partick was too little, too late.
“We’re ultimately disappointed we didn’t get anything from the game, we said at half time we weren’t at it in the first half and credit to Max he kept us in the game.
“The second half was much more like ourselves, but it wasn’t enough on the day,”
A recent change in formation has seen McKay move to the heart of the defence alongside Sean Crighton and Callum Fordyce.
As well as featuring in his more accustomed midfield berth earlier in the season, the 24-year-old has also featured at right-back, and he’s pleased that his versatility is proving useful.
“It’s something I’ve spoken to the manager about. I’m happy to play wherever he wants to play me, and it’s good to know the manager trusts me in a number of positions.
“Midfield is where I’ve wanted to play over the last couple of seasons, but I’m enjoying my run of games at centre back. It’s a position that suits me.”
With another fixture looming, Airdrie now have the chance to increase their lead over fifth place to five points, although Tuesday’s opponents Montrose also play on Thursday.
McKay believes that recent form makes it easier for the Diamonds to bounce back from Saturday’s disappointment.
“We just need to dust ourselves off and get back to it.
“Even in the second half on Saturday we showed that if we go out and play like we know we can we’re a good side and a threat to anyone we play against.”
The Diamonds will certainly be looking to raise their game against Stewart Petrie’s Gable Endies, who were victorious at the Penny Cars Stadium in December with Russell McLean scoring the only goal of the game.
The sides met again at Links Park earlier this month, with Cammy Ballantyne and a Sean Crighton own goal putting the Gable Endies two up at the break. A much-improved second half performance from Airdrie saw Calum Gallagher pull one back before goalkeeper Aaron Lennox helped a stoppage-time Crighton cross into the net for a share of the points.
Last week’s win over Cove Rangers saw the Angus side safely into the top half, and Paul believes that the sides are as close as the table would suggest.
“Both our games against them this season have been very tight, so we know what to expect!
“They’re an organised and experienced side, but we know if we go out and impose ourselves on the game, there’s no reason why we can’t get what would be a valuable three points at this stage in the season.”
Manager Ian Murray agrees on the importance of securing a win.
“It’s another big game against a good team.
“Saturday’s result was disappointing, but we have an immediate opportunity to get back on track by getting a vital three points.”
The Diamonds boss confirmed that Sean Crighton faces a late check after taking a knock to his knee in Saturday’s match.
Kevin Graham makes his third trip to Airdrie this season, having refereed October’s meeting with Dumbarton and November’s Betfred Cup tie against Edinburgh City.
You can watch the match live using the link below. Kick-off is at 7:00pm.
Tuesday April 27, 2021
Penny Cars Stadium, Airdrie
John McCrossan, Gordon McCabe