August 6, 2021
Dumbarton vs Airdrieonians
Calum Gallagher expects an interesting game when Airdrie’s young guns face some familiar older heads at Dumbarton on Saturday.
The Diamonds travel to the C&G Systems stadium for their first away game of the cinch League 1 campaign after some contrasting opening day fortunes.
As the new-look Sons squad were winning 3-0 at Clyde under recent managerial appointment Stevie Farrell, Airdrie went down by the same scoreline at home to Montrose.
Former Dumbarton striker Gallagher signed on for a third year with the Diamonds this summer, also being named vice-captain. He says the post-mortem on Saturday’s performance was swift with some hard work to follow.
“We went through it at length on Saturday after the game and on Sunday.
“With the talent in this dressing room, we’ve got to make sure it is a blip. It’s got to be sorted out on the training pitch.
“You don’t win every game, but the manner in which we performed on Saturday - the squad as a collective know that wasn’t good enough.”
Gallagher has been a popular figure at the Penny Cars Stadium since joining from the Sons in 2019. Having topped the club’s goalscoring charts in his debut season, the 26-year-old admits that he does set himself lofty targets, but is happy to set personal glory aside if it helps the team.
“At the start of most seasons I’ve got a figure in mind, and if I get there I’ll be happy. I pick quite a big number - I’ve only done it a couple of times!
“Anything that can get you some sort of edge to get a shot away when maybe a pass might be an alright option, I think you need to at times be greedy and take things on - but as I get on a bit in age and become one of the older heads in the squad, it is about winning three points on a Saturday!”
Dumbarton have seen major changes over the summer with Stevie Farrell replacing Jim Duffy in the hotseat and a number of comings and goings among the playing squad.
Former Airdrie men Eoghan Stokes and Paul Paton are among those who have joined up at The Rock, and their new side got off to a flier last weekend as Ross McLean and Conner Duthie were on the scoresheet in an impressive win at Broadwood.
Diamonds striker Gallagher knows what to expect from Saturday’s meeting, having enjoyed a three year spell at the club.
“I really enjoyed it there, I had two years in the Championship and one in League 1. They’ve got a really loud core set of fans, and I was always really well looked after and supported.
“One thing about Dumbarton is they’re always very well-drilled, tough to beat and organised, so approaching Saturday we’ll need to earn the right to play and hopefully grab all three points.”
“They’ve signed well - Gregor Buchanan’s back, who was there when I first signed, Stuart Carswell as well, and Paul Paton who was with us last year.
“They’ve got bags of experience in, and on Saturday it might be older heads against younger legs - but ultimately it’s going to be down to the performance and who wants it more.”
Manager Ian Murray also has strong Dumbarton connections, having cut his managerial teeth there between 2012 and 2015.
He knows that a tricky away day lies in wait for his squad.
“Dumbarton have had a lot of changes in terms of staff and the manager, and they’ve got some really good, experienced players.
“They’re dangerous, we know that because they’ve scored three goals on Saturday and kept a clean sheet. It’s always been a very hard place to go, but I have full belief and trust in the players.
“We’ve got enough talent to win games, but we need to make sure that we’re absolutely on it mentally and physically.”
The Diamonds boss confirmed that Salim Kouider-Aïssa remains a doubt after picking up a hamstring strain in the match against Montrose, but is hopeful that Sam Wardrop will be ready to return from an ankle knock. New signing Callum Smith will join the match squad subject to completion of paperwork.
Barry Cook is the referee for Saturday’s 3:00pm kick-off, for which aways fans’ attendance is permitted on a pay-at-the-gate basis.
For those unable to attend, you can watch the match live via Sons TV using the link below.
Saturday August 7, 2021
C&G Systems Stadium, Dumbarton
Colin Drummond, Michael MacDermid