December 10, 2021
Airdrieonians vs Queen’s Park
Gabby McGill wants Airdrie’s quality to show as the Diamonds look to move back above opponents Queen’s Park in the cinch League 1 table.
The Spiders visit the Penny Cars Stadium on Saturday having jumped into third place with a 6-0 whitewash of Falkirk last weekend, while Airdrie went down 2-1 at Montrose in midweek.
Striker McGill has started the last two matches for the Diamonds after successive injuries saw him sidelined for a spell.
The Englishman was the early pace-setter in the club’s scoring charts, netting four times before picking up a hamstring injury, and he’s pleased to return to full fitness.
“I’m really glad to be back. Getting started on Tuesday night was good, but I was obviously disappointed with the result and ultimately not to score.
“It was a good start to the season from a personal point of view, then I had the hamstring injury, came back and within three minutes I was concussed! Very frustrating, but hopefully I’m back in now.”
McGill’s second start following his comeback was Tuesday’s defeat at Montrose, a match played in stormy conditions. The 21-year-old wasn’t surprised that the game went ahead, despite Storm Barra’s best efforts.
“I remember my first season coming up here, it was Arbroath away and that was similar. I remember a wave crashing against the stadium, the right-back was taking a throw and he just got drenched with water.
“All the boys on the bus had their minds right that the game would go ahead, and unfortunately we didn’t get the win. Certainly in the first half we were disappointing, and the conditions probably were a factor but it was the same for both teams.
“Definitely in the second half I thought we did well. We dictated the game and we had chances. Watching the highlights back again I know I had a couple, and Easty at the end - they were there for the taking if we’d taken our chances.”
With a match against fellow promotion hopefuls Queen’s Park looming this weekend, McGill expects another tight affair with the sides already having drawn three times this season.
“If you think back to all our games, within the 90 minutes it’s always been a draw. We’re expecting a tough game, a close game.
“We know what they’re about, they’re a good footballing side who play with high energy and high tempo. We need to match that and we need to work harder than them. Hopefully our quality on the ball and our workrate will get us over the line and we’ll get that win.”
And with his return to the squad now established, Gabby hopes to get back on the scoresheet sooner rather than later.
“I said it earlier on in the season, every time I step on that pitch I do believe I’m going to score. If I get chances I do think I’m going to score, and that’s never going to change!”
Laurie Ellis’s side may have racked up an impressive scoreline in beating Falkirk 6-0 last weekend, but manager Ian Murray insists that his focus remains on his own side.
“We go into it looking to pick up three points at home, trying to get back on track and trying to get ourselves into second position.
“I say it every week, we concentrate on ourselves. Yes, we’ve not won now in two league games, but our confidence is still high.
“We’ve shown this season that we can compete with these teams, and we look forward to the game.”
Josh Kerr (calf) and Salim Kouider-Aïssa (knee) remain sidelined for the Diamonds, while defender Luke Lyons (leg) and midfielder Dylan Easton (ribs) will face fitness checks after picking up knocks in midweek.
Referee Chris Fordyce has already taken charge of one match at the Penny Cars Stadium this season, September’s 2-1 win over Alloa Athletic.
Match tickets and livestream access are available using the links below.
Saturday December 11, 2021
Penny Cars Stadium, Airdrie
Stuart Stevenson, Jordan Cousland