April 7, 2023
Airdrieonians vs Montrose
Gabby McGill is full of confidence ahead of Saturday’s match against Montrose - and rightly so after a stellar month which saw the striker grab seven goals and the League 1 Player of the Month award.
In a month which saw the Diamonds hit the net 20 times, McGill was in tremendous form as he weighed in with goals and assist aplenty.
It’s been a high point in an impressive season for the 22-year-old, who has put last season’s injury problems behind him as he’s helped to put Airdrie in play-off contention once again.
“This year I’ve had a good run in the team, especially recently, and things are looking up.
“So that’s all I need to do, keep myself fit and keep doing what I love to do - which is play football and score goals!”
Most onlookers would consider the Englishman to be of the first names on the teamsheet on current form, but McGill isn’t resting on his laurels.
“Even though I seem to have done quite well this month, there’s never a time that you think your place in the team is certain.
“You see every day in training the ability that Lewis McGregor and Sal and Joe and people like that have, so you need to stay on top of your game - or one bad game and you’ll be out of the team. There’s boys ready to come in and really tear it up.”
Having shaken off a leg knock sustained in last weekend’s 1-0 win at Alloa, McGill is ready for Saturday’s visit of Stewart Petrie’s Montrose.
The striker was on the scoresheet the last time the sides met, joining Callum Fordyce, Euan Deveney and Rhys McCabe in finding the net in a 4-2 win at Links Park in December - though he is modest about the finish.
“I’m going to be very honest with you - Charlie Telfer had a shot, it was going wide, hit me and went in!
“Recently we’ve done well against Montrose. Obviously the confidence is really high, so we’ll be looking to extend that on Saturday.”
Mention of this fixture instantly brings back memories of last season’s incredible 6-4 play-off semi-final thriller - in which McGill was again among the scorers - but meetings this season have also been eventful.
Before the 4-2 away win at Christmas, Airdrie were 4-0 winners at the Excelsior in October, with Craig Watson adding to a Lewis Jamieson hat-trick.
There was another 4-2 scoreline at Links Park earlier that month - this time in Montrose’s favour as Lewis Milne, Adam Mackinnon and a Craig Johnston double secured victory for the Angus men despite strikes from Jamieson and Calum Gallagher.
So with 16 goals in three meetings already this season, is Gabby expecting another high-scoring affair?
“It never seems to be dull. Up at their place it’s a different type of game, but here we’ll be looking to implement our style, play the football that we like to play on this pitch, and hopefully it can still be an entertaining game but all the goals are for us!
“We’ll take each game at a time, try to make sure that we come out on top in each one of them, and see where we end up come the end of the season.”
Player-manager Rhys McCabe knows what to expect from the Gable Endies.
“They always seem to be difficult games. We know what’s at stake for them, they’re trying to chase the same thing that we are.
“It’s important that we go with home advantage and keep that momentum going full of confidence, and that we go and stick our chests out and perform well on Saturday.”
The Diamonds boss has a full squad to choose from ahead of the match.
Referee Lloyd Wilson officiates his sixth Airdrie match of the season, having already overseen league wins over Falkirk (4-0), Peterhead (3-0) and Clyde (1-0), as well at the 3-0 Premier Sports Cup win over Cowdenbeath and the 6-2 extra-time defeat at Dundee in the Scottish Cup.
Match tickets and streaming information are available using the link below.
Saturday April 8, 2023
Excelsior Stadium, Airdrie
Gordon Crawford, Chris McLaughlin