Mar 17 2010 by Colin Paterson, Airdrie & Coatbridge
Airdrie United midfielder Scott McLaughlin.
IT’S fair to say that there is little love lost between Airdrie midfielder Scott McLaughlin and the supporters of Morton.
The 26-year-old spent three years at Cappielow yet was never a firm favourite with those draped in blue and white on the terracing.
When he returns to Sinclair Street tonight, he will prepare himself for the boos that will greet his every touch of the ball; he knows the Greenock public will want to see him fail.
But McLaughlin is adamant that the Morton supporters can be the Diamonds’ 12th man this evening as Airdrie head west for a crunch relegation battle with First Division survival on the line.
“We need to go at them right from the kick-off and turn their fans against them,” he told Advertiser Sport. “Having played down there, I know better than anybody how they can turn on their own players.
“I was on the end of it for long enough during the years I was there so it’s important to use their fans to our advantage.
“The only way we will manage to do that is by going for the jugular in that first 20 minutes and, hopefully, nicking a goal.
“It’s going to take a massive effort to get off the bottom but we are the ones who have got into this situation. It isn’t anyone else’s fault.”
The Diamonds could close the gap on ninth-placed Ton to five points and McLaughlin admits only a third league success of the season will be deemed good enough.
He added: “It is up to us to step up to the plate and try and get as many victories as we can.
“A draw is definitely no good to us down there, we need to win. No ifs, buts or maybes.
“We have to go for the three points.”
McLaughlin was delighted to set up Paul Keegan’s first goal of the campaign in the 1-1 draw with Ayr on Saturday and the midfielder hopes the result will kickstart a late revival.
“It was a weird day and it felt like a win just because of the way the game finished,” he said.
“With Ayr scoring so late-on, we didn’t even think we’d have enough time to re-start but, thankfully, the extra few minutes allowed the big man to score a great header.
“I work on taking free-kicks from both sides every day in training and I’m hoping that will pay dividends between now and the end of the season.
“Our recent performances have been down to hard work.
“We are all working for each other just now and I’d like to think the seriousness of the situation is behind that.”