July 30, 2021
Airdrieonians vs Montrose
Josh Kerr wants Airdrie’s quality to shine through as the Diamonds take on Montrose in Saturday’s cinch League 1 curtain-raiser.
Despite a memorable win over derby rivals Motherwell, the club bowed out of this season’s Premier Sports Cup after defeat to Queen of the South - but the main event begins at the Penny Cars Stadium this weekend.
Defender Kerr missed the start of the cup campaign after picking up a pre-season knock, but the 23-year-old is fit and raring to go ahead of Saturday’s league opener.
“I’ve had a few niggly injuries and haven’t really trained much, so I’ve just been trying to batter the games out.
“Hopefully I can put that behind me and I can go game after game and be consistent. I think you’ve always got a little niggle here and there, but I’ll always give everything I’ve got regardless.
“If the gaffer needs me, I’ll be there for him.”
The Diamonds fell at the final hurdle last season, losing in the Championship play-off final to Morton after a strong finish saw them end the campaign second in the table, just two points behind champions Partick Thistle.
Ian Murray’s squad has seen something of an overhaul during the summer months, and Kerr believes that the new-look Airdrie side has what it takes to go one better.
“We’re quietly confident, I don’t think we need to go and be shouting about what we’re going to do.
“I don’t think we’ve got anything to fear, we’ve got a lot of experience throughout the squad.
“A lot of the boys have played a lot of games, which we probably didn’t have last year, so we should be able to kick on straight away.”
The campaign begins with a home tie against Stewart Petrie’s Montrose, who have impressed since their promotion from League 2 with a settled squad and consistent performances.
Josh can’t wait to get started after some thrilling matches against the Gable Endies in recent years.
“At the end of last season it was good to get our first win against them - I felt like all we did was draw!
“They’ve always been tight games, but we’ve got to look after ourselves. If we knock the ball about well, we know we can cause them problems. We’ve got the squad for it.
“On the first day they’ll be giving everything. It’s like a cup final, there’s obviously new boys wanting to impress. In the first game form does go out the window, it doesn’t matter what you’ve done in the cup.”
Diamonds boss Ian Murray is pleased to get into the thick of the League 1 action, but knows that Montrose will be a tricky opening opponent.
“We expect the league campaign to be competitive as always. It’s going to be difficult, but it’s great to be back into the domestic league and hopefully we’ll get a full run at it this time!
“Home form is very important - if you can win your home games and pick up something on the road you’ve got half a chance. The boys last year made this place hard to come to, but we need to make it even harder if we want to win the league.
“Montrose are a really solid outfit with a really good manager and staff, so it’ll be very difficult. They’ve had that group of players now for two or three years and they’ve built it up really well.”
The manager confirmed that he had no fresh injury worries ahead of the match, and is hopeful to have some bodies back following an intensive Premier Sports Cup campaign.
Referee Lloyd Wilson is the man in the middle for the 3:00pm kick-off.
You can buy match tickets or access to the livestream using the links below.
Saturday July 31, 2021
Penny Cars Stadium, Airdrie
Kevin McElhinney, Ryan Kennedy