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    Allan Maitland previews Airdrie United game 

    Friday, April 08, 2011 12:45:57 PM

    I’d like to extend a warm welcome to Jimmy, Allan, Paul, Michael and of course John Donnelly along with the players, directors and supporters of Airdrie United FC for today’s game. I am delighted for Jimmy that his side have done so well and are now pushing for a play off spot at the top of the league which is great testament to the work he’s done with a very young squad of players. The inclusion of Ryan McCord in the squad is so important for Airdrie as he brings an element of composure and quality to the side and along with Scott Gemmill is invariably involved in most of their attacking moves. Their recent run of good results highlighted by their victory in midweek at Glebe Park, has increased confidence and seen them clear of the relegation fight we find ourselves in and challenging Forfar for a top four spot. When a side has such a good run of results its unfair to single out a couple of players when quite clearly they have all played their part and other than today I wish them well for the remainder of the season.
    The first half of our game at Dumbarton last week in many ways summed up how our season has been recently. I thought we started well and created good opportunities for Andy Scott, Kurtis Byrne, Jim Lister and James Bloom but missed them all, which inevitably meant we went in at the break a goal down when we blocked a shot at the edge of the box and it broke to McLeish who scored with their only effort at that stage of the game. The second half we started brightly and Michael McGowan scored a great individual goal only for us to lose a very soft second within a minute. After that we struggled to get control of the game and could have went further behind before the introduction of Stuart Noble and Nathan Taggart sparked us back into life and we equalised when Michael scored a wonderful goal when busting into the box. Kurtis was unlucky when his shot was blocked moments later and Jamie Ewings had a good save at the end to keep us level and over the piece a draw was probably a fair result. Once again I felt the performance was good and the players did well to recover from the set back of conceding the second goal so quickly after equalising. Michael McGowan has been excellent recently and he thoroughly deserved the reward of his two goals last week both of which were well taken.
    I have signed Kurtis Byrne from Hibs on loan till the end of the season and believe the experience he gained while on loan to East Fife earlier in the season will make him better equipped to deal with the games ahead. Injuries to Bryan Prunty, Brown Ferguson, Mark Brown, David McClune, James Bloom, Darren Smith and Nathan Taggart have made it impossible to get any consistency in terms of team selection and performances but I hope to have most of them back by next weeks game at Forfar.
    I completely understand the frustrations felt by the supporters and want everyone to know that we are all working to get the results needed to keep us clear of the relegation places and your backing is invaluable as shown last week at Dumbarton.

    Thank you for your support.
    Allan Maitland

    Managers Corner