November 6, 2023
Rangers B vs Airdrieonians
Dean McMaster says Airdrie will need to show their quality against a talented Rangers B side in Tuesday’s SPFL Trust Trophy tie.
The Diamonds travel to Cappielow to take on the Ibrox youngsters - with a return to Greenock the reward for the winners, who will face Morton in the quarter-final.
Midfielder McMaster produced a 5-star performance at the weekend, excelling in the 1-1 away draw with Raith Rovers after a couple of weeks on the sidelines after receiving painkilling injections.
“Obviously it was tough to be sitting watching the last couple of games - I didn’t get on in the Inverness game because I was feeling it.
“It was good to get back out there on Saturday, it was a solid performance. I thought we could have got the win, we missed a few chances, but we’re happy with the overall performance and we move on to Tuesday.”
The draw against Ian Murray’s high-flying Rovers came hand-in-hand with a superb Airdrie performance, with the Diamonds aggrieved at not taking more after some fine goalkeeping - and the woodwork - came to the Kirkcaldy side’s rescue.
After two defeats in a row, McMaster says the squad’s self-belief was never in question.
“We always believe in ourselves. Even though we’ve had a spell where the results aren’t going our way, it was good to get a good performance on Saturday and get a good point away from home.
“We played the top two last week and there was very little in either game, so we know we can compete against the best in the league - it’s just about putting the goals away, really.”
Tuesday’s match at Cappielow sees Airdrie take on David McCallum’s Rangers B side, who progressed after an impressive 4-1 win against Alloa Athletic in the last round.
That match, like this one, was delayed due to international call-ups, which speaks to the quality in the young Gers squad.
Dean says it’s another tough match in a gruelling schedule for the Diamonds.
“The games are coming thick and fast right now - Tuesday, Saturday, Tuesday, Saturday - so it’s all about how we prepare for Tuesday. We’ll do all our shape work and preparation, and it’ll be a good challenge.
“It’s a young B team, but they’ve got top coaching staff and they’ve come up through the academy, so they’ll all be decent players. We won’t be going into the game thinking we’re going to steamroller them, we’ll be wary of how good they are.
“But we know how good we are, so it’ll be an interesting game. Hopefully we’ll get the result - then we’ll be going back to Cappielow again!”
Player-manager Rhys McCabe added: “It’s a tough game away at a tough venue.
“There is a good quality of young players coming through at Rangers, which is good to see, but it means that we’ll have to be at our best to progress in the competition.”
The Diamonds boss will play the waiting game to check on the health of his squad. Assistant manager Callum Fordyce missed Saturday’s match with a groin strain, and Mason Hancock (knee), Aaron Taylor-Sinclair (calf) and Nikolay Todorov (groin) were all withdrawn during the course of the 90 minutes.
Murray Aiken faces a spell on the sidelines after a scan revealed the midfielder had sustained an ankle fracture during last week’s match against Dundee United.
Steven Kirkland referees his first Airdrie match of the season.
Tickets for the Cappielow clash are available using the link below.
Tuesday November 7, 2023
Cappielow Park, Greenock
Craig Macrae, Colin McAlpine