October 19, 2023
Airdrieonians vs Queen’s Park
Charlie Telfer expects a tough test against Queen’s Park when the Glasgow side visit for Friday night’s televised Championship match.
Airdrie welcome the Spiders to the Excelsior for the first time since Simon Murray’s extra-time penalty settled a dramatic play-off final in May 2022 - but the Diamonds have since joined them in the second tier.
Midfielder Telfer has been gradually reintroduced to the action since a spell on the sidelines with tendonitis of the knee, and the former Rangers and Dundee United man is delighted to be back.
“It’s always frustrating sitting watching games - the boys have been doing really well, and that’s made it a bit easier.
“Getting back in and training and playing a wee part at Morton, and then again at Ayr, it’s been much more enjoyable than sitting watching!”
After a weekend off for the international break, Airdrie are hoping to get back to winning ways against Robin Veldman’s side, having lost 2-1 to Ayr United a fortnight ago.
With the first quarter of the Championship season coming to a close this weekend, it’s been a tale of ups and downs for the Diamonds, who sit fifth in the table having won four and lost four.
Telfer believes the side have what it takes to kick-start a run of results and cement a top-half position.
“We want to add a bit more consistency to our game, instead of winning one or two and losing one and going back and forth. We want to go on a run, and you’ve seen in this league in years gone by, when you do that you gradually climb and climb.
“It starts on Friday, and hopefully if we play as well as we can and reach the heights that we’ve reached at some stages, we feel confident enough that we can get a result.”
That requires a good performance against a Queen’s Park side who have struggled for form of late, but who currently occupy seventh place after a strong start.
The Hampden side are without a league win in six matches, but Telfer says that doesn’t necessarily tell the full story.
“We expect their best, and when that comes out they’re a really good side. They’ve got good attacking options and we know that they’re a good team.
“This league’s so unpredictable at times - you can go on a wee run where you maybe don’t win games. We know that as well, so we’ll be expecting their best. We know that they’ll come here and they’ll be up for it.”
A home win would see Airdrie move up to third ahead of Saturday’s fixtures, and Charlie believes that would be an achievement to be proud of at the end of the first round of matches.
“We’ve had that confidence from the start, that we can come and compete. We’ll look back on this first quarter, and if we get a positive result on Friday we’ll be really happy.
“We’ve seen everyone that we’ll play against now, and there’s not much to fear. We know everyone’s strengths, but we also know their weaknesses.
“One game at a time, and hopefully it can be a good result come Friday.”
Rhys McCabe scored a trademark free-kick the last time the sides met, and although it was the Spiders who came out on top on that occasion, the Diamonds’ player-manager says a lot has changed in the interim.
“We’re looking forward to it, first and foremost, and we fully expect a good performance. We’ve prepped and done our homework, and we’ll hopefully go out on Friday with a good positive mindset.
“Queen’s Park have definitely improved from the days that we played each other in League One, and we’re arguably the same.
“We’ve started the season reasonably well - there’s loads of room for improvement, but from where we were last year at this stage we’re showing glimpses and good spells in games.”
On the injury front, defenders Cammy Ballantyne and Aaron Taylor-Sinclair have resumed training following calf injuries, with both facing checks ahead of Friday’s squad announcement.
Referee Grant Irvine took charge of Airdrie’s opening Championship fixture, a 2-1 defeat to Dunfermline Athletic.
Match tickets are available using the link below, and partners Future Ticketing have subsidised a reduced-price entry offer for Under 16s attending with a paying adult.
The match will be broadcast on BBC Scotland, so there will be no DTVLive stream for this fixture.
Friday October 20, 2023
Excelsior Stadium, Airdrie
David McGeachie, Ian Hart