March 18, 2022
Airdrieonians vs Queen’s Park
Scott Agnew says confidence is key to Airdrie’s unbeaten run - and can see the Diamonds to another important result against Queen’s Park on Saturday.
The player-assistant manager has himself enjoyed some good form in a defensive midfield role this season, and was one of a number of players to turn out an impeccable performance in last weekend’s 4-1 away win over Falkirk.
Agnew was understandably pleased with the display.
“I think everybody was at it on Saturday, I thought we started with a great intensity - to be honest I thought the full 90 minutes was quite convincing, and I think you see that in the scoreline.
“Saturday was as convincing as you’ll get away from home, so we’re all delighted.”
Having so often been a thorn in Airdrie’s side over an accomplished career with the likes of Stranraer, Alloa Athletic and East Fife, the 34-year-old is enjoying his new holding midfield role with the Diamonds.
“I’m absolutely loving it. Obviously I’m sitting in front of the back four, it’s a lot more defensive than what I have done the rest of my career.
“However, I’ve got very good players in front of me so it makes my job a lot easier, to try and break things up and organise.”
Unbeaten in 13 league matches, Agnew and his team-mates will be hoping to continue that record against Queen’s Park, who the Diamonds face on Saturday for the sixth time this season. With both cup encounters decided by penalties, the league meetings have been almost as close.
After a goalless draw at Firhill in September, it took a stunner from Kerr McInroy to separate the sides at Airdrie in December, the Diamonds running out 1-0 winners on the night. Another draw followed in Maryhill a month later, Scott McGill equalising just a minute after Charlie Fox had given the Spiders the lead.
With Airdrie holding the narrowest advantage over the season, Agnew expects more of the same - but hopes the Diamonds winning mentality can see them through.
“There’s not been much between us during the games, but we’re going into every game expecting to win and believing we can win, so the boys are full of confidence and really looking forward to the run in.
“That’s it for us now - we take it game by game and see what we can do.”
As the Diamonds continue to chase Cove Rangers at the top of the cinch League 1 table, both sides face top-four opposition with the Toonsers visiting Montrose. The sides meet next week, with neither showing signs of flagging in an incredible title race.
Scott says the squad can be proud of their campaign, but will continue to focus on the challenge ahead.
“It’s been a great season up to now. We’re 13 unbeaten in the league, which is a great achievement.
“We look to continue that, we don’t go into any game worried about the opposition. The talent we’ve got at the football club is enough to win any game, so we’ll be looking to do that.
“The boys are fit and ready and excited for the run-in.”
Manager Ian Murray has been impressed with Saturday’s opponents, and expects another close encounter on Saturday.
“I think Queen’s Park have done tremendously well this season coming up from League 2. They’re a good side, they’ve got good individual players and a good team unit. They’re very hard to beat which shows in the results against us this season.
“It’s very unusual for this game, Airdrie vs Queen’s Park, to be one-sided. We’ll be set up for it as we are every single week. We know it’s a tough challenge, we also know that they’re very capable of causing damage - but on the flipside of that, we’re exactly the same.
“As hard as it’s going to be for ourselves, it’s going to be just as hard for Queen’s Park.”
The Diamonds boss hopes to welcome Kyle MacDonald back to the squad in the coming weeks, but the defender remains sidelined for Saturday’s match alongside long-term injury victims Luke Lyons and Salim Kouider-Aïssa.
Referee Scott Lambie takes charge of his third Airdrie match this season, having officiated October's 3-2 home win over Dumbarton, and the trip to Alloa a fortnight ago, which the Diamonds won 2-0.
Match tickets and livestream access are available using the links below.
Saturday March 19, 2022
Excelsior Stadium, Airdrie
Paul O’Neill, Colin McAlpine