December 24, 2021
Airdrieonians vs Alloa Athletic
Scott McGill says Airdrie must remain focussed if they’re to make it a happy new year for the fans.
The Diamonds face a busy Christmas calendar of four games in 13 days, with a replay against Clyde yet to be scheduled.
Saturday’s match at Broadwood was abandoned due to fog, and midfielder McGill was surprised by the decision.
“Honestly, I didn’t know he was going to call it off - I’ve never quite seen anything like that before.
“We were 2-1 up and comfortable with 15 minutes to go. I don’t know why he’s called it off, it was a bit of a shock.
“We were on the front foot and had most of the ball during the game, so I think we’d have got another one and sealed the victory.”
McGill was filling in at left-back in the abandoned Cumbernauld fixture, and the Hearts loanee’s versatility has proved a valuable asset for Airdrie in a season blighted by injuries and illness.
The 19-year-old is happy to play wherever he’s required.
“I’m really enjoying it, as long as I’m on the pitch. I’ve obviously never played right-back or left-back before, but it’s a good learning curve - as long as I’m playing!
“Every week I’m learning something new. Dycey’s obviously helping me along the way, so it keeps me right because as I say, I haven’t played there before.”
Although Covid and fog have left the Diamonds playing catch-up in terms of fixtures, Ian Murray’s men remain in a play-off position having enjoyed a brief spell at the top of the table last month.
McGill believes promotion to the Championship is a distinct possibility.
“We’re sitting fourth with two games in hand, so we’ve got a really good chance.
“We just have to keep doing what we’ve been doing and winning games.
With Saturday’s home fixture against Alloa Athletic kicking off a busy run for Airdrie, Scott knows that a win would be huge.
“We need to train well, rest and recover really well and it should take care of itself. I’m happy as long as I’m getting gametime, that’s the most important thing.
“If we do the things we’ve been doing well, I think we’ve got a really good chance of beating Alloa.”
Results have been tight in the two meetings between the sides this season, with a Euan Henderson double handing Alloa the points at the Indodrill Stadium in October despite Callum Fordyce’s late strike.
The 2-1 scoreline was reversed at the Penny Cars Stadium in September, Calum Gallagher and Adam Frizzell netting for Airdrie before Conor Sammon’s consolation for the Wasps.
Diamonds boss Ian Murray expects another close encounter.
“I watched Alloa against Clyde a couple of weeks ago, and they played some good stuff. The Cove Rangers game on Saturday for them was disappointing, but we know they’re a dangerous animal - like any team, when they lose especially.
“They’ve got good players, especially in the forward areas - very skilful and very quick. So we’ll have to play well, we know that. It’s the same in every game in this league, we’ll have to be on it. If we’re not it can be a long afternoon.
“I saw plenty of encouragement on Saturday from our players, and if we play like that we’re a hard team to beat.”
Gabby McGill (knee) joins fellow striker Salim Kouider-Aïssa (knee) and defender Josh Kerr (calf) on the sidelines.
The manager explained that there is slightly less clarity than usual on the extent of current injuries.
“There’s a lot of complications involved at the moment, there’s not a lot of medical assistance in hospitals and doctors due to the ongoing virus, and again there’s nothing we can do about that.
“We’re doing our very best, as are the medical staff here. It’s a bit of a waiting game.”
Euan Anderson referees Sunday’s meeting, his first Airdrie match this season.
Attendance information and livestream access are available using the links below.
Sunday December 26, 2021
Penny Cars Stadium, Airdrie
David McKniff, Brent Falconer