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May 2, 2024

Queen’s Park vs Airdrieonians

Chris Donnell says Airdrie won’t take their foot off the gas against Queen’s Park on Friday night, with confidence and momentum to be gained ahead of the cinch Premiership Promotion Play-Offs.

The Diamonds travel to Glasgow for the final match of the regular league season ahead of next week’s double-header against Partick Thistle, and will be looking to build on last week’s strong team performance against Dundee United.

Donnell was a starter in midfield against the champions last Friday night, and the 20-year-old enjoyed his role in a thoroughly entertaining match.

“I thought we played really well, obviously we needed to score that goal, but we can take a lot of positives from that game into Friday.

“Most of the boys came in after the game and said it was probably one of the most enjoyable games of the season. Whether it was because they didn’t have that pressure, so they sat off a little bit, or not - any team after that performance would have been tough to play against, so we can take that into the next game and take a lot of confidence from that.”

Of course that next game comes on Friday at Hampden Park, with Queen’s Park the final-day opponents at the national stadium

Donnell expects a difficult evening as the Spiders battle to avoid the relegation play-off.

“They’re going to be really up for the game. I’ve only played against them once this season, when we drew here, and you could tell they’re a good side that like to get the ball down.

“I don’t really think their league position matches the capability of the team - I think we need to hold them to a high respect because they’re a very good side, and if we’re not on it, it could be a really tough game.”

Draws have certainly been a feature of the fixtures between the sides, with 13 of the 28 meetings since 2002 ending in a tie.

Both of this season’s matches at the Excelsior produced a 1-1 scoreline, Calum Gallagher and Jack Turner exchanging goals in October before Mason Hancock cancelled out Dom Thomas’s opener in March.

The Hampden meeting in December looked set to be heading that way too - Hancock and Thomas once again the scorers - before Nikolay Todorov popped up with a winner deep into stoppage-time. It was a goal which may well have been a huge turning point in the Diamonds’ season, with an impressive run of form following to propel the side into play-off contention.

Although Airdrie are assured of their play-off involvement no matter Friday’s outcome, Donnell says there is no such thing as a dead rubber for this squad - even with a potentially gruelling schedule following soon after.

“With everything, the gaffer just always wants us to find those little ‘one-percenters’, whether or not we’ve already qualified. His main thing is performances - no matter if we come in having won 3-0, he always wants us to get better.

“We want to keep pushing and get better as a team, and take confidence from that going into the play-offs. Obviously there’s a load of tough games in there, but with what we’ve done this season, we should hold our heads high and be confident going into any game.

“I’ve been here half a season and I’ve seen how good everybody is. Loads of games shouldn’t be a problem, because we’ve got the squad to do it, but you have to go into every game knowing that the opposition is good and you have to be up for every one.”

As Airdrie’s season - and Chris’s loan from Fulham - approach their climax, he says the time for reflection is not yet upon us.

“I’ve loved it personally, but also as a footballer you want to go as far as you can, so we’re not thinking about how well we’ve done this season just yet - we’ll think about that when people are on the beaches!

“For now we want to go and get promotion. That’s what everybody’s dreaming of, that’s what everybody’s working towards. There’s a lot of good teams above us, but we have full confidence that we can do that.”

Player-manager Rhys McCabe expects a stern test from Callum Davidson’s side as the Spiders seek to assure their Championship safety.

“I’m not one to be throwing out a team of kids, I think that’s disrespectful to the league and the other teams in it. We also want to build a bit of momentum if we can.

“Queen’s Park are going to be fighting for everything, and they’ll be looking to put on a good performance to try and get the victory. There’s more pressure on them, naturally, but we’ll still go and try to win the game.

“Even going back to our League 1 days, they’ve always been competitive, tight games. One thing’s for certain - they’re going to be fighting and scrapping for everything. We know that we’re in for a tough game.”

McCabe himself continues to progress toward first-team involvement, as do Cammy Ballantyne and Adam Frizzell, who have sat out recent matches as a precautionary measure. Josh Rae and Liam McStravick will once again miss out for the Diamonds.

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 subject to connectivity.


Friday May 3, 2024




Hampden Park, Glasgow



Ross Hardie


Ross Nelson, Alastair Taylor

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