February 3, 2023
Airdrieonians vs Clyde
Josh Rae wants more of the same as Airdrie look to repeat last week’s electrifying performance when Clyde come calling on Saturday.
Comeback keeper Rae didn’t have much to do as the Diamonds romped to a 4-0 win over Alloa, but the 22-year-old is pleased to be back in the side after spending almost six months on the sidelines with a shoulder injury.
Having returned in the 3-0 win at Peterhead, the big goalkeeper also played in the 1-1 draw at Kelty Hearts before Saturday’s impressive performance.
“I’m buzzing - three decent results as well. It was disappointing we couldn’t pick up the three points against Kelty, but with the conditions it was not a bad point at the end of the day.
“I feel strong, and I’m delighted to be back out again. That was my focus, and two clean sheets out of three - I’ll take it!
As Callum Fordyce, Charlie Telfer and a double from fans’ player of the month Calum Gallagher handed Airdrie victory over the Wasps, Rae shares the sentiment of many supporters that the scoreline didn’t flatter the Diamonds.
“I thought we were brilliant, I’m disappointed it was only four, to be honest.
“We’d have taken 4-0 before the game, and the three points is all that matters.”
With the win seeing Airdrie leapfrog Alloa back into a play-off position, a different challenge awaits this weekend as Jim Duffy’s Clyde come to town scrapping for League 1 survival.
The Diamonds have already registered a 5-0 home win over the Bully Wee as Lewis Jamieson, Gabby McGill, Callum Smith (2) and Salim Kouider-Aïssa found the net back in September.
The return fixture in November proved somewhat trickier, with Jamieson tucking away the rebound after his penalty was saved in a hard-fought 1-0 win at New Douglas Park.
Rae watched both matches from the stand, and believes that Clyde are a better team than their lowly league position suggests.
“I think they’re decent, they’re good at what they do. We’ll need to play like we did on Saturday if we’re going to pick up the three points, which we need.
“If we do the same job as we did against Alloa, I think we’ll be completely fine.
“They’ll make it hard and try to hit us on the counter, but we need to just play the same way and hopefully get the three points.”
With only one defeat in the last ten league games, there is a belief in the Airdrie camp that the side are hitting form at the right time.
And according to Josh, there’s no reason that a continuation of that form can’t take the Diamonds to promotion.
“Everyone does believe, it’s not over till it’s over. We need to just keep taking it week by week and getting as many points as we can, and see where are at the end of the season.
“Whether that’s in the play-offs or automatic, it doesn’t matter - the main thing is to get up, and we’ll do our best.
Player-manager Rhys McCabe says that preparation is key, no matter the opposition.
“We know it’s going to be a tough game, a totally different game from how Alloa was.
“We’ve got to make sure that we approach it with the right mentality. We’ll do our homework and make sure that we’re well prepared, and we’ll go out and look to execute a good gameplan and come away with the three points.”
The Diamonds boss has no injury worries ahead of the tie, with defender Cammy Ballantyne back in contention after making the bench last weekend.
Referee Lloyd Wilson is no stranger to the Diamonds this season, having already taken charge of four matches. In the two league fixtures overseen by the whistler, Airdrie have hit seven goals without reply.
Match tickets and streaming details are available using the link below.
Saturday February 4, 2023
Excelsior Stadium, Airdrie
Andrew McWilliam, Frazer Bushell