Home Sport gear Ross Campbell expects close competition as Montrose prepares for Airdrie play-offs

Ross Campbell expects close competition as Montrose prepares for Airdrie play-offs

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ROSS CAMPBELL is expecting an entertaining encounter at Links Park tonight as the Montrose assistant manager prepares for another Championship playoff run with Club Angus.

The League One side host the Airdrieonians tonight ahead of the second leg in Lanarkshire on Saturday and Campbell feels there will be very little to separate the two teams.

Ian Murray’s men secured second place in the Scottish third tier on a remarkable 20-game unbeaten streak, but even if the form book is in the Diamonds’ favour, Campbell insists he and his players have their own reasons for feeling quietly optimistic.

“We’re excited,” he said. “I feel like the season has been mixed. We thought we had a team that could compete for the league, but Airdrie was ahead of us and Cove was even further ahead, so we accepted that. Maybe in the last 10 days it got real.

“The last encounter was really open and open and I think that’s symptomatic of the other times we’ve played them this season. Three of the four games were high and open.

“It will be interesting with the pressure of the play-offs whether it is like that or not. We are two pretty strong and solid teams.

“[Airdrie’s form] been brilliant but we don’t mind that much because we had a similar race earlier in the year. Congratulations to them, but that doesn’t really enter our thinking. If we look at our games against them over the past three years, they’ve always been close.

Montrose’s title tilt crumbled in the second half of the season as they once again settled for a play-off spot. It’s a testament to the work done by manager Stewart Petrie and his No.2 that the achievement has barely raised eyebrows, such are the high expectations at the part-time club these days.

“Stewart came on when we were bottom of League Two and since then we’ve been in the play-offs, then winning the league, then four years in the play-offs,” Campbell added.

“Airdrie works full time. Queen’s Park are full time. Dunfermline are full time. Cove has a budget that probably exceeds full time. So, all things considered, we’re immensely proud but not complacent. We are not moving forward. »