July 28, 2023
Bonnyrigg Rose vs Airdrieonians
Aaron Taylor-Sinclair says Airdrie will go all out to maintain their perfect form in the Viaplay Cup as the Diamonds meet Bonnyrigg Rose for the first time on Saturday.
Three wins from three matches have left the Diamonds needing only a point from the New Dundas Park meeting to secure top spot and qualification for the knock-out round.
It took a late winner to secure victory at Inverness on Tuesday evening, but player-coach Taylor-Sinclair was delighted to continue the side’s red-hot form.
“It’s been a great start from us, everyone came back for pre-season sharp. We started off with the victory against Dumbarton and we’ve kicked on from there.
“The first half at Inverness was probably the best we’ve played since we’ve been back. There were a few things we probably could have done better in the second half, but we’re a young squad and we’re always learning.”
With only Dundee capable of catching Airdrie as things stand, the Diamonds know that anything except defeat will turn the Dark Blues’ Sunday clash with Inverness into a dead rubber.
Defender Taylor-Sinclair says that personal pride would never let the Airdrie players entertain the idea of playing for a draw.
“There’s probably not a lot of times in your career that you’ll go four, five, six wins in a row - unless you’re playing for one of the big boys down in England or something.
“So to get four wins in a row would be great for us going into the league season.”
Standing in the way of that achievement are Bonnyrigg Rose, who finished last season in eighth place in League 2 - their first SPFL campaign since winning promotion from the Lowland League in 2021-22.
Taylor-Sinclair expects a tough test against Robbie Horn’s side, but believes the Diamonds can adapt to the conditions.
“We’ve watched their previous games, we know it’s going to be a tough game. It’s a nice tight park. We’ll just go there with it in our minds that we can get four wins out of four, and hopefully we can do that.
“We’ll maybe change slightly - but not too much, the gaffer wouldn’t allow that! We might change a few things we do tactically, but apart from that we’ll be much the same as we have been in the last three games.”
With a new ground to check off the list for many Airdrie fans, a good travelling support is expected to follow the team to Midlothian.
Aaron is full of praise for the Diamonds faithful - and the rapport between players and fans.
“The support that turned up at Inverness, it’s a long journey and I’m just glad that we got the victory for them!
“Since I’ve come in there’s been a real togetherness within the club, I’ve felt. Hopefully that continues.”
Player-manager Rhys McCabe says preparation is key as his side step into the unknown.
“It’ll be a totally different game, it’ll be a difficult tie. We don’t know too much about them in terms of personnel and how they play, because we haven’t come up against them.
“We know that going to these places, it’s a tough fixture, and we’ve got to make sure that mentally and physically we’re ready to match them, and hopefully we can go and finish the job.”
The Airdrie boss has a few minor niggles among his squad, but striker Gabby McGill’s hamstring strain is not as bad as first thought. Captain Adam Frizzell misses out through suspension.
Admission and PPV details for the Diamonds’ first trip to New Dundas Park are available using the link below.
Saturday July 29, 2023
New Dundas Park, Bonnyrigg
Gordon Crawford, Will Pare