STRIV­ING & SUR­VIV­ING

Derby re­sult could have big say in rel­e­ga­tion fight and player fu­tures

Airdrie & Coatbridge Advertiser - - Mon­k­lands Derby Day Spe­cial -

Air­drieo­ni­ans de­fender Sean McIn­tosh hopes for a chance to im­press on derby day in a bid to earn a new Di­a­monds deal.

The 21-year-old, who has also fea­tured in mid­field for the New Broom­field out­fit this term, will be out of con­tract in May.

He has been in and out of the start­ing eleven this term – hav­ing been an ever-present un­der for­mer gaffer Mark Wil­son in a run to the pro­mo­tion play-off places last sea­son.

How­ever, McIn­tosh is keen to earn a new con­tract with a good end to the sea­son and is hop­ing for a run- out against Al­bion Rovers on Satur­day.

“For me per­son­ally it’s been a frus­trat­ing sea­son - I’ve not played as many games as I would have liked,” he told the Ad­ver­tiser. “When com­pared with last sea­son, I got a lot more game time in a suc­cess­ful sea­son.

“The gaffer has been very up­front and hon­est with me but I went through a spell be­fore the Queen’s Park game where I didn’t play five or six games.

“It’s prob­a­bly the long­est spell I have been out of the team since play­ing my first game.

“I’m still a young player and have played a lot of games and would re­ally like to stay at the club.

“There has been a lot hap­pen­ing at the club but it’s a great bunch of boys and I told the gaffer I want to stay here.”

McIn­tosh has pos­i­tive mem­o­ries of the Mon­k­lands derby – hav­ing net­ted a last­gasp win­ner in the 4-3 clash at Clifton­hill last sea­son.

He is cross­ing his fin­gers that he will be drafted into the start­ing line-up and handed the chance to ex­tend his two-year stint at the Ex­cel­sior.

He said: “I re­mem­ber be­ing a bit dis­ap­pointed that I didn’t start the game when I scored but then when I came on and got the late goal it was a bril­liant feel­ing.

“It’s prob­a­bly been the high­light of my ca­reer so far.

“It’d be good to get a run in the team be­fore the end of the sea­son. I want to be able to show what I can bring be­fore the end my con­tract – maybe an­other derby goal!” Al­bion Rovers de­fender Scott McLaugh­lin ad­mits they must win the Mon­k­lands derby to keep the rel­e­ga­tion bat­tle alive.

The 34-year-old reck­ons only max­i­mum points will do as the Coat­bridge out­fit look to hold on to their League One spot.

After a tough sec­ond half of the sea­son, the left-back is still con­fi­dent they can earn a re­sult.

“We’re at the stage now where even a point isn’t good enough – they all have to be wins now,”he told the Ad­ver­tiser.

“In the dress­ing room it’s strange; even though we are down there we feel like we have been play­ing well and there is a bit of con­fi­dence.

“We feel like we have never got the breaks after a good start.

“You can’t keep outscor­ing teams like we did at the start of the sea­son, but with in­juries we have had to keep chop­ping and chang­ing the team – es­pe­cially the de­fence.

“I don’t know how many games Alan Reid will have missed in his 11 sea­sons here – but this sea­son he gets hit with a bad in­jury.

“It’s not an ex­cuse but these things keep hap­pen­ing, es­pe­cially in de­fence.

“So we know at this point of the sea­son we have to put to­gether some wins.”

McLaugh­lin, who has been ev­er­p­re­sent in the Rovers back­line this sea­son, has ex­pe­ri­enced the highs and lows of derby day.

On the last visit to ML6, the vet­eran saw red as his side held on for a point – and he scored a last-minute equaliser at Clifton­hill in Jan­uary.

The Coat­bridge out­fit are yet to win against their ri­vals this term and the for­mer Di­a­mond knows this has to change.

He said:“They are all big games just now but ob­vi­ously with Air­drie be­ing a derby it adds that bit ex­tra.

“Last time we were at Air­drie I got the red card be­cause I felt I had to stop the guy go­ing through on goal. He went down aw­fully easy, though – but we man­aged to hold on with nine men.

“Then I got the last-minute goal, which was a good feel­ing. The crowd re­ac­tion that day was bril­liant. It was sweet in a derby. We have been play­ing good stuff against them this sea­son so now we need to get the three points.”

Deal me in Sean McIn­tosh hopes to earn a new con­tract

Fo­cused Scott McLaugh­lin has al­ready en­joyed some derby day suc­cess

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