Airdrie v Falkirk preview: Bairns boss Paul Sheerin hoping to put one over team which beat Falkirk in both League 1 encounters last season

Falkirk boss Paul Sheerin is hoping that last season’s bogey side Airdrie don’t haunt the new look Bairns in this Saturday’s League 1 clash at Penny Cars Stadium.

Thursday, 12th August 2021, 2:45 pm
Falkirk players celebrate scoring during Wednesday night's 3-0 home win over East Kilbride in the Challenge Cup (Pic by Michael Gillen)

Airdrie saw off the Bairns 1-0 at Falkirk Stadium last December and then fatefully scored two very late goals to beat Falkirk 2-1 on April 6 to ensure that the Bairns couldn’t reach the play-offs.

Sheerin told the Falkirk Herald: “From my point of view it’s a clean slate and a fresh start. It’s a totally different season to last season so we won’t really go into that too much in terms of our preparation because of the fact that we are a relatively new squad and we’ll more focus on what they’ve done this season.

"Airdrie have long throws in their team and they use that as a weapon, they get bodies forward and flood the box.

"They are a tough team to play against so we recognise all that and it’s important you stand up to that within the game.

"They’ve got other quality in areas as well. Dylan Easton is a talented boy, Scott Agnew’s a player I’ve admired for years now. Being manager at Arbroath I tried to sign him a couple of times myself.

"(Calum) Gallagher is willing at the top end of the pitch.”

Sheerin revealed that Ryan Williamson and Brad McKay remain out injured and will miss the game at Airdrie this weekend.

Referring to Falkirk’s 3-0 home Scottish Challenge Cup win over East Kilbride on Wednesday night, Sheerin added: “The eight senior ones in the East Kilbride squad have over 2000 appearances between them and played with clubs like Rangers, Aberdeen, Motherwell, St Johnstone, Dundee United.

"So I think if you take it for granted and think: ‘It’s just East Kilbride’, you’re being pretty disrespectful to them as a team.

"From our point of view, I think we had seven players aged 21 and under – 24 being the oldest player – that started the game last night, so we need to put that in perspective as to how good the performance actually was.

"East Kilbride with the experience they’ve got in their team were certainly no mugs. For the young players to stand up and be counted the way they did was really, really pleasing and I think people probably need to take more notice than they did last night.”

Sheerin was pleased with how new loan signing from Huddersfied Town – Ernaldo Krasniqi – performed against East Kilbride.

He added: “It’s obviously his debut. He’s a boy that’s never played in front of a crowd before.

"Maybe Youth Cup at best in front of 100, 150 people. So for him to come into this environment, it’s a totally different environment to be involved in.

"I did feel he got better and better as the game progressed.

"He’ll need to get used to the pace in terms of Scottish football. It’s a lot more hectic than what he’s be used to down south.

"He’s a bright footballer, looks to get on it, pass and move again. So he can be really happy with his debut.

"I have seen enough to suggest that he’ll be a real acquisition to the squad.”