August 11, 2023
Airdrieonians vs Partick Thistle
Josh O’Connor believes the Excelsior crowd can help Airdrie to victory over Partick Thistle as the Diamonds prepare for their first home fixture of the Championship campaign.
Although Rhys McCabe’s side slipped to a narrow defeat to Dunfermline Athletic on the opening day, there was little between the sides.
Striker O’Connor was disappointed with the result, but encouraged by some of Airdrie’s play.
“Obviously it was a frustrating result, but you’ve got to look at the positives.
“It’s a hard place to go, it was a big crowd for them - but we probably should have at least got a point out of the game with the chances we had.
“I believe in us as a team - we could put them away and go and win that game.”
Hibernian loanee O’Connor was left rueing a missed chance in the first half of last weekend’s curtain raiser, but all in all his experience at the club has been positive so far.
“I’m settling really well, the boys have taken me right under their wing. I can’t say enough about everyone, it’s brilliant.
“I’ve had a couple of good performances, but it’s all about improvement. I’m pretty harsh on myself, I probably should have more than the one goal that I have already.
“The chance on Saturday I should put away - if I’m being critical of myself I definitely should - but hopefully I’ll get in that position again and next time I’ll put it away.”
Although the Pars got the goals to turn around Airdrie’s early lead, the match statistics suggest that the possession-based football favoured by the Diamonds will bear fruit.
O’Connor agrees that the flowing style will click over time.
“Against Dunfermline there was a couple of mistakes, but if we keep on doing it repetitively and keep going again, it’s only going to get better.
“The way we do play is going to create lots of chances. If we keep improving on it, we’re going to score more goals.
“The stuff we do on the training pitch, we look to implement in the game. If we do, we’ll look to do very well and we’ll look to surprise a lot of people this season.”
With the attention turning to Saturday’s home match against Partick Thistle, Josh is hopeful that a good backing from the stands can give the Diamonds a real home advantage.
“I’ve not seen much of Partick Thistle, but I believe that we can get a good result. Especially playing at home - with the crowd behind us and the team that we’ve got, I more than believe that we can get a result.
“We’re looking to come out for the first home game of the season with a bit of fire from Saturday, and hopefully start off with a win.”
Manager Rhys McCabe is impressed by the Jags’ form since Kris Doolan’s appointment, and expects an entertaining match between two good footballing sides.
“They’re a good side, we’ve seen that since Dools has come in and transformed their way of playing.
“They play an attacking style of football, but they’ve also been really disciplined and hard to beat. They’re a good outfit and it’s going to be a tough game.
“They’ll be itching to come and get off the mark, as are we - so it should play in to a really good game of football.”
Strikers Gabby McGill (hamstring) and Nikolay Todorov (groin) are still working toward recovery from their respective injuries, while goalkeeper Josh Rae returns from suspension.
Referee Craig Napier is familiar to Diamonds fans after taking charge of the play-off final second leg at Hamilton.
Match tickets and streaming details are available using the link below.
Supporters travelling by car are reminded that roadworks around the Excelsior Stadium are causing significant delays. Please plan accordingly.
Saturday August 12, 2023
Excelsior Stadium, Airdrie
Chris Rae, George King