February 4, 2022
Cove Rangers vs Airdrieonians
Adam Frizzell believes Cove Rangers haven’t seen Airdrie at their best yet - and the midfielder is hoping that will change at Balmoral Stadium on Saturday.
The Diamonds travel to Aberdeen aiming to cut the gap at the top of the table to four points, after coming through January unbeaten to stay hot on the heels of Paul Hartley’s league leaders.
Frizzell and his team-mates have had a week to recover after last Saturday’s 1-1 draw with Queen’s Park, their third game in a week and sixth of the month.
The 24-year-old believes Airdrie did enough to take the three points at Firhill.
“We got through it - a good week all in all. We probably could have won the game on Saturday, but a point’s not bad in the end because they’re decent.
“I think their shape was causing us a bit of a problem, but once we got to grips with that I thought we went on and controlled the game, and as I say we were probably unlucky not to go and nick the three points.”
With Cove Rangers also dropping points at Dumbarton, the gap at the top remained at seven points ahead of the third meeting of the season between the title challengers.
Late goals sealed victory for the Toonsers on both occasions, Morgyn Neill’s 89th-minute header enough for a 1-0 win at Balmoral in September before Mitch Megginson and Fraser Fyvie netted in the last ten minutes at Airdrie in November.
Frizzell says the Diamonds need to find the high standards that have propelled them to the top end of cinch League 1.
“It’s a massive game. We owe them one as well, because the first two we probably gave them a wee bit too much respect.
“We can go and play, and when we do I don’t think many teams can handle us. We need to go into the game with that mindset - even though it’s away we need to go to win the game.
“It’s two teams that like to play, so I think it’ll be a good game.”
With a little over quarter of the season remaining, the match has been branded a must-win for Airdrie by some, but Frizzell doesn’t necessarily agree.
“I think it’s a case of must-not-lose because ten points is massive, but if we can just keep in touch with them and keep the pressure on, we think over the piece we can definitely try and claw it back.
“They’ve got a lot of experience, so we’re under no illusions how tough a game it’ll be. We think if we can go and play at 100%, which we don’t feel we have against them the first two times, then we’ve got a right chance of winning the game.”
Manager Ian Murray hopes to use the earlier defeats to his advantage.
“It’s a very difficult game at a difficult place to go and try to win and play well.
“We look forward to it, it’s a top of the table clash no matter how anyone else looks at it in terms of the points difference - that’s exactly what it is, it’s first v second.
“Both previous games were very close, and learning from them is very important. We hope we’ve learned enough to put a gameplan together to go up there and win.”
The manager hopes to welcome two players back to the squad, with Callum Fordyce (hamstring) and Gabby McGill (knee) returning to full training after missing out in recent weeks. Luke Lyons and Salim Kouider-Aïssa remain sidelined.
Referee Barry Cook has been in charge of three Airdrie matches this season - although only two were played to a finish - the 2-2 draw at Dumbarton in August, October’s 2-1 defeat at Alloa, and the trip to face Clyde in December which was abandoned due to fog.
Match tickets and livestream access are available using the links below.
Saturday February 5, 2022
Balmoral Stadium, Aberdeen
Graham Chambers, Brian Christie