Dec 18 2012 by Colin Paterson, Airdrie & Coatbridge Advertiser
Boss Jimmy Boyle reflected on Airdrie’s form ahead of five games in less than a fortnight and admitted: We can do better.
The Diamonds sit second-bottom of the Irn-Bru First Division table with 12 points from their opening 14 league matches of the season.
Boyle’s men are seven points clear of bottom dogs Dumbarton, who do have a game in hand, but a point behind Hamilton Accies and Cowdenbeath, who reside in eighth and seventh places respectively.
Falkirk are Airdrie’s first opponents this Saturday before a short Boxing Day trip to Accies. Leaders Partick Thistle and Cowdenbeath visit either side of New Year with the festive period rounded off at Raith Rovers on January 5, 2013.
The fight to avoid the drop looks like it will go down to the wire but Boyle believes his players have the potential to stay up.
He said: “I think there are performances this season where we could have done a lot better.
“Some of the games we’ve played have been nowhere near good enough and that is why we are where we are.
“It’s really tight in the First Division. We know we can climb the table if we produce two or three positive results in a row.
“It will be like this all the way through to the end of the season and how we do against those around us will be important.
“Our priority is staying in the First Division and it would be good to achieve that by having a go at teams.”
Airdrie welcome back midfielder Jack Boyle and striker John Boyle after they missed the 2-0 defeat to Morton at the weekend through suspension.
Sean Lynch returned from injury at Cappielow but centre-back Cameron MacDonald remains on the sidelines with the manager concerned about his lack of match fitness.
With the Diamonds’ squad getting stronger, competition for places is increasing.
And Boyle has warned his players that those who perform well will stay in the team.
He added: “Everybody will need to work hard to keep their place.
“I’ve told them that if the team is doing well and getting results, then those involved will stay in; regardless of who they are and what age they are.”
Meanwhile, Airdrie have offered their condolences to on-loan keeper Grant Adam, and his family, following the sudden death of his father, Charlie snr, on Monday evening.
He was just 50.