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August 18, 2023

Airdrieonians vs Ross County

Callum Fordyce wants to reward the Diamonds faithful with a win against Ross County and progression to the Viaplay Cup quarter-finals.

The Dingwall side visit the Excelsior on Saturday as Airdrie look to continue their red-hot form in the competition - which saw the Diamonds complete the group stage with a 100% record.

Malky McKay’s Staggies have also started the new season well after retaining their Premiership status with a dramatic play-off penalty shoot-out win over Partick Thistle.

That result meant another year in the Championship for the Jags - who suffered defeat at Airdrie’s hands last weekend.

Player/assistant manager Fordyce was delighted with the 2-1 victory over Kris Doolan’s men.

“We watched the game after, and I thought looking through the 90 minutes, we controlled the game. We deserved the win first and foremost, and it probably should have been a lot more comfortable for us.

“It showed great character, we came out the second half and dominated the game.

“We got questioned a lot last year and we progressed throughout the season well. We’ve kept the majority of the same players, so the boys have that character in them now - they know the demands and the standards that we set on each other.”

The victory - Airdrie’s first Championship win in over a decade - was a direct result of the patient passing football which has become the side’s trademark under the guidance of manager Rhys McCabe and assistant Fordyce.

The 31-year-old defender, who is also McCabe’s cousin, believes there is more to come from the free-flowing Diamonds.

“When me and the manager came in here, we had an idea that we wanted to play football the same way. We’ve always talked about it, since we were wee boys, the way that football should be played.

“We’ve got the players that can play through the thirds, pass the ball properly, and do the rotations.

“It’s still a work in progress - we’re not saying we’re there, but we’re putting stepping stones down for the boys and they’re relishing it.”

With a break from league duties this week, the Airdrie squad look forward to welcoming Ross County to the Excelsior for Saturday’s Viaplay Cup third round tie.

The Victoria Park outfit joined the senior leagues in 1994 and an impressive rise through the ranks has seen them establish themselves as a top-flight side, their current Premiership stay having started in 2019.

Airdrie will go into Saturday’s match as underdogs due to the sides’ respective league positions, but Callum believes anything can happen in a one-off cup tie.

“Everybody’s expecting Ross County to come here and wipe the floor with us. We deserve the chance because of how well we’ve done in the group, but in my four years here we’ve done well against Premiership sides.

“We’ll have a gameplan. Ross County have been excellent, Malky’s got them playing some good stuff. It’s going to be a difficult game, but it’s one that the boys should be excited about.

“There shouldn’t be any fear going into Saturday. It’s a big game, it’ll be a good crowd, and we owe it to the fans to go and put a show on again.”

With five victories from six competitive fixtures so far, manager Rhys McCabe is pleased with his side’s form - and wants the winning feeling to continue.

“I go into every game to win, and I think that mentality will stick with me and with the boys.

“We’ve got home advantage, the pitch suits our style of play and we’ll be looking to impose that on Ross County.

“It’ll be a tough test because of their experience. We’re at the stage now where every game is going to be tough, and we’ll respect them in that sense - we’ve got to make sure that we’re on our game and we’re sharp and alert to everything they might bring.”

While McCabe himself is ruled out for a number of weeks due to a knee injury, fellow midfielder Charlie Telfer (knee) and striker Gabby McGill (hamstring) both returned to action in last week’s match and continue to be monitored. Striker Nikolay Todorov (groin) is close to a return to full training.

Saturday’s match - the first meeting between the sides since April 2010 - is refereed by Steven McLean.

Supporters travelling to the match by car are reminded that roadworks are causing significant delays around the stadium. Please plan accordingly.

In addition, Petersburn Road is closed at Carlisle Road and supporters coming from that direction will have no access to the away car park. All fans can enter the ground via Craigneuk Avenue, where both sets of gates will be open.

Match tickets and livestream details are available using the link below.


Saturday August 19, 2023




Excelsior Stadium, Airdrie



Steven McLean


David McGeachie, Paul McAvinue

Fourth Official

Calum Scott

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