Airdrie defender Craig Watson blasted his side's lack of fight in their 3-0 defeat at home to Montrose yesterday and said it was a game that needed more of the players to get stuck in.

The 26-year-old says it looked like some Airdrie players were hiding from the ball as Montrose racked up a comfortable opening day win in League One, courtesy of goals from Terry Masson and Lewis Milne, and a Graham Webster penalty.

Watson, who joined the club in the summer from East Fife, said: "It was very disappointing. You can lose games, but you can't not fight - it's the basic fundamental of football, from goalie, defence, midfield, striker, if you're not willing to roll the sleeves us and get stuck in then you've got no chance.

"You have to earn the right to play, and we have good intentions of going and passing from the back, building up, trying to get the ball into good areas, but if you're not willing to match the effort of the boys playing in the other team, it's not going to work.

"They never out-played us; they never tiki-taka'd the ball around us, it was pretty direct goals.

"It was a cross for the first one, I think the second goal summed it up, to be honest - the boy's just gone past three or four bodies without someone saying 'you know what, I'm not going to take that, I'm going to smash you'. It might give a free kick away but at least the ball's not in the back of the net."

Watson says Airdrie need to match the other team before earning the right to play
Watson says Airdrie need to match the other team before earning the right to play

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Watson says Airdrie need to review the defeat and learn where they went wrong, as they prepare for a trip to Dumbarton, who returned from Clyde with a 3-0 win yesterday.

"I think we've got to watch that game back, to be honest, and highlight the lack of aggression from everyone right through the team," he said.

"I felt Dylan [Easton] came on and showed the right attitude, he wasn't afraid to get on the ball which, up until then, I thought a lot of boys hid from the ball, especially trying to get it out from the back.

"Rhys McCabe was dropping off a lot in the first half, trying to make angles, and it's up to us to believe in players like that. Him and Scott Agnew are quality players on the ball, so it's down to us to trust him to get onto it, and build from there.

"We lost 4-1 against Queen of the South last weekend. Some of the boys were leggy, it was hot, but both teams were playing on the same pitch, had played the same amount of games, and there are no excuses.

"I was disappointed by myself and the whole team that there wasn't an immediate reaction today, thinking that wasn't good enough, 4-1 off Queen of the South.

"Yes, they're a league above, but you should be confident of going and getting a result against teams like that, if you're going to have aspirations of winning this league."

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