January 21, 2022
Partick Thistle vs Airdrieonians
Calum Gallagher hopes the Diamonds can continue their winning form and spring a Scottish Cup surprise against Championship side Partick Thistle.
The striker returned for a brief cameo in last weekend’s 3-2 home win over Falkirk, having missed the previous match through injury.
Back in training and hoping to be fully fit for Saturday’s trip to Firhill, Gallagher spoke of coming off the bench to net what turned out to be the winning goal.
“Obviously the game needed a bit of a shake up, but it was good to come on with 15 to go when a lot of the hard work had been done by Jordan and Callum running in them into the ground.
“It was quite light work for me, I just needed to float about and find myself in the right place at the right time after some hard work by Frizz and a great assist!”
Gallagher was full of praise for fellow striker Jordan ‘Nacho’ Allan, who stepped into the side in style with an early goal against East Fife and two eye-catching performances.
“He’s done exceptionally well, I think you can see the quality from his goal last week against East Fife.
“It’s difficult to go for a period of time not playing and then to come in and have an immediate impact. It was a great first touch and an even better finish.
“It’s good that we’ve got such strength in depth in that area, obviously we’ve been really unlucky with Gabby and Sal being injured - but even the three that tend to play up there, myself, Smithy and Nacho, there’s goals amongst the group that hopefully can be enough to tide us over until these guys are back.”
Although the Diamonds are on a five-match winning run in the league, they go into Saturday’s match as underdogs, with attention turning to the Scottish Cup and a tie against opposition from a higher division.
Partick Thistle are bookies favourites having won the League 1 title last season, but Gallagher wants Airdrie to keep up their red-hot form.
“I think you need to approach it with the same mindset that it’s a game to be won. You need to carry the league form into the cup.
“Obviously we’ve been on a really good run the last five or six games - if we can carry that over and take that into the cup, it’ll be a really exciting game.”
With a place in the last 16 up for grabs, Calum believes there are some scores to settle against Ian McCall’s side, who pipped the Diamonds to the title by just two points in last season’s shortened League 1 season.
“We know the quality that was there from last season, they finished the league really well and they’ve retained the core of their squad, they’ve added quality like Kyle Turner who we know really well, so we need to be up for the challenge.
“We’re hopeful that we can do that. We weren’t able to turn them over last year, which we were all quite hurt over because we’d had some really good performances against them.
“There’s a wee bit of that sticking in our minds and we’ll hopefully be able to go out and prove a point against Championship opposition.”
Manager Ian Murray says his side are ready for the challenge.
“I think the cup always gives excitement to players and fans alike, so we’re looking forward to it. It’s an opportunity to test ourselves against a Championship team who are doing really well this season.
“It’s a really tough test for us, but one we look forward to and relish.”
The Diamonds boss reported no fresh injury concerns, with defender Luke Lyons remaining sidelined along with strikers Salim Kouider-Aïssa and Gabby McGill.
Referee David Munro is in charge for his first Airdrie match this season.
Ticket and streaming information are available via the links below.
Saturday January 22, 2022
Firhill Stadium, Glasgow
Dougie Potter, Calum Doyle