July 24, 2023
Inverness CT vs Airdrieonians
Calum Gallagher says Airdrie are full of confidence as they travel to Inverness for Tuesday’s Viaplay Cup match, having won their two opening games to top Group E.
The Diamonds round off the group with two away matches, but having already beaten Dumbarton and Dundee, progression to the knockout stages is a realistic goal.
Striker Gallagher wants to see some momentum from Saturday’s impressive victory over Premiership new boys Dundee.
“We’re really excited. It’s a privileged position to be in, coming off the back of two wins, so confidence is high.
“We’re in a good place, and I think it’s important that we carry that into the game against Inverness.”
With such a quick turnaround from a physical encounter on Saturday, and a trip to Bonnyrigg for the final group match looming at the weekend, manager Rhys McCabe may have personnel changes in mind.
Gallagher doesn’t see that as a problem.
“Obviously the boys that played a part against Dundee did really well, you’ve got people coming off the bench and making a great impact on the game - Josh wins the penalty, Toddy scored last week, Charlie comes in and we’ve seen his quality throughout last year.
“There’s competition for the jerseys - everyone’s wanting to play. It’s going to be difficult for the manager to pick a team.”
The meeting with Inverness gives the Diamonds their first chance to test themselves against Championship opposition since winning promotion in May.
That itself adds a layer of intrigue to the tie, and Gallagher feels it’s something which will add to the build-up for the upcoming league campaign.
“In terms of sharpening our teeth against someone at the same level, it is going to be a really interesting tie.
“I think it’s the most excitement in a pre-season I’ve felt in a long time, in terms of boys who are looking forward to the season ahead.”
With the side’s trademark passing play already contributing to two wins in the Viaplay Cup group, Calum says it will be business as usual on Tuesday evening.
“We have such a clear style that’s really drilled into us at this point. We can mix it if we have to, but we’re at our best when we’re playing the type of slick, passing football that the fans here have seen for the last year.
“It’s become so ingrained in us that it’s allowed us to hit the ground running, it’s now second nature. It’s the style that we’ve selected and trained - it’s our option A… and our option B, most likely!”
Boss Rhys McCabe knows that the trip north comes hot on the heels of Saturday’s considerable efforts, but the Diamonds player-manager only has one target in mind.
“We go to win, it’s very simple. The result against Dundee has given us a little cushion in terms of points tally, and a right good chance of progressing in the group.
“I’m not going to get too carried away, we’ve got to make sure that we recover properly and make sure we’re in the right condition to go to a difficult venue.
“It’ll be a tough game, first and foremost. Our feet are firmly on the ground as we look forward to Tuesday.”
McCabe himself, alongside midfielder Adam Frizzell and striker Gabby McGill, all picked up slight knocks at the weekend and will face checks ahead of Tuesday’s game.
Matthew McDermid is the referee for the Tulloch Caledonian Stadium clash.
Match tickets are available from hosts Inverness using the link below.
Tuesday July 25, 2023
Tulloch Caledonian Stadium, Inverness
Calum Spence, Ross Anderson