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March 15, 2024

Airdrieonians vs Arbroath

Adam Frizzell wants Airdrie to push for the play-offs with a win over Arbroath on Saturday - but the Diamonds skipper warns that the Red Lichties will be no pushovers.

Airdrie have finally had a full week’s preparation for a match after a hectic schedule saw the Diamonds play five games in fifteen days, culminating in last weekend’s 0-0 draw at Inverness.

After racking up eight points from those fixtures - four of which were away from home - Frizzell was satisfied that the draw was a fair result in the Highlands.

“I think the point’s a good one, especially because I thought we weren’t at our best, to be honest.

“If you’d have offered us seven out of nine going into those three away fixtures, we’d have bitten your hand off for it! We’ve put ourselves in a good position, and a win on Saturday would put us right in the mixer - so that’s what we’ll aim to do.”

Although the fixture congestion has taken its toll on the players, midfielder Frizzell says it will benefit the squad in the long run.

“Personally I felt a wee bit tired on Saturday. It’s been a load for us, playing Saturday/Tuesday constantly. All the boys have been needed, and everyone’s stepped up.

“I think you reap the rewards from a run of games like that when you get back to the Saturday/Saturday and you can see that your fitness is improved. Hopefully that’s the case for us, and come Saturday we’re ready to go.”

Basement battlers Arbroath are the visitors to the Excelsior on Saturday, having had very different results in their two meetings with the Diamonds this season.

Late goals from Jay Bird and Leighton McIntosh added gloss to a Lichties win at Gayfield in September, Michael McKenna and Jermaine Hylton having already put the home side in a commanding position before red cards for Arbroath’s Ricky Little and Airdrie’s Liam McStravick.

Airdrie couldn’t match the 4-0 scoreline at the Excelsior in November, but McStravick atoned for his sending-off by netting the opener before Lewis McGregor doubled the Diamonds lead and secured the points.

With the second match at Gayfield rescheduled due to Airdrie’s SPFL Trust Trophy run, the action returns to Airdrie for the third meeting between the sides. Arbroath’s management team from the first two ties, Dick and Ian Campbell, have since left the club to be replaced by two former Diamonds heroes, Jim McIntyre and Jimmy Boyle.

Frizzell says Airdrie will be wary of the threat Arbroath displayed in the September meeting, but will look to November’s win for their own inspiration.

“You can’t look at their league position, because they’ve given us our heaviest defeat of the season in the only game we didn’t look ‘in’ from the start.

“Last time they came here we were great, and we won 2-0 - we’ll look to go and do that again. We’re at home, so we can impose our style on them and hopefully that’s the way the game goes, and we’ll get three points.

“We’ve had to roll our sleeves up the last two games with the pitches, and we’ve shown a different side, but the boys are looking forward to getting back on a big surface and we can hopefully get that ball down again.”

With third-placed Partick Thistle taking on fourth-placed Morton on Saturday, an Airdrie win could be huge in terms of the squad’s play-off ambitions.

Adam says a top-four finish is the aim, despite many predicting a struggle for the Diamonds after last summer’s promotion.

“A lot of people thought at the start of the season that staying in the league was the goal. That was ours first and foremost - but I know what’s in that changing room, and to tell you the truth I’d be disappointed if we didn’t get to the play-offs, because I know we can.

“Similar to last year, we took a wee lull about Christmas time and then we kicked on in the second part of the season, and look what happened. There’s no reason we can’t go and do that again.”

Player-manager Rhys McCabe says Arbroath’s own relegation battle makes them a dangerous opponent.

“They’re a team that’s fighting for their status in the division, and we understand that last time we were up there it was a bit of a hiding, so it’s really important that we address the game with the full respect that it’s due.

“They’ll be a wounded animal, they’ve come off the back of shipping a few goals and having a couple of injuries, but it’s not too long ago that I sat and watched them being 2-0 down and winning 3-2 against Raith Rovers.

“We know in this league anything can happen, it’s about making sure that you approach the game with the right mentality, the right professionalism, and the right focus.”

The Diamonds boss doesn’t have his troubles to seek on the injury front, with goalkeeper Josh Rae (head) and striker Gabby McGill (hamstring) picking up knocks in the Inverness match. Defender Cammy Ballantyne (groin) and midfielders Lewis McGregor (ankle) and Murray Aiken (ankle) are also still injury concerns.

Referee Peter Stuart’s only other match involving Airdrie this season was December’s 1-0 away defeat to Ayr United.

Match tickets are available using the link below, and our DiamondsTV video (subscribers outwith the UK & Ireland) and audio (pay-per-match worldwide) streams are also available.

Prior to kick-off, a minutes silence will be held for former Airdrie player Tommy Duncan. We ask supporters to take their seats in good time to pay their respects.

Please be aware that behaviour deemed unacceptable will result in ejection from the stadium. Issues arising during the match can be reported anonymously - see the posters around the stadium for more information. Our unacceptable conduct policy can be viewed using the link below.


Saturday March 16, 2024




Excelsior Stadium, Airdrie



Peter Stuart


Ross Macleod, Ross Anderson

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