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Football: WISHART: AIRDRIE IS DIFFERENT; Airdrie 1 Clyde 0.

Byline: Gordon HENDRIE

SIGNING for Airdrie could be regarded as a bad move for a footballer given the club's present circumstances, but not if you're Fraser Wishart.

The veteran full-back has been around the block and has experienced life at the top and the bottom of the footballing ladder.

He has won a Championship medal at Walter Smith's Rangers and enjoyed two successful periods at Motherwell. On the other hand, for the last couple of years he has been playing for troubled Clydebank in front of paltry crowds.

Now he is now happily facing up to a new challenge at Airdrie.

Wishart is all to aware of what it is like to play for a crisis club. But at Airdrie he sees that things are different.

For the players ensuring First Division status is paramount and a deserved first victory for new boss Ian McCall was all he could have hoped for on his Diamonds' debut.

Wishart and McCall have both became experts at handling disillusioned fans and cash- strapped clubs at Clydebank and their experience there will stand them in good stead.

The full-back admits that McCall was the main reason he signed and he's looking forward to helping his old mate turn things around.

He said: "I knew it was right when I came here. All you have to do is look at the surroundings and you know the club has a lot of potential.

"We've all only signed until the end of the season, but hopefully then the club's future will be secured and we can sort out contracts.

"For me at 36 it's great to be going up the divisions, not down."

It has been very well documented that the Diamonds' fans are opposed to the new regime, but Wishart and Coyle are just old campaigners who want to play football.

"We were a bit wary given the fans reaction last week," said Wishart. "But thankfully they got behind us today.

"The fans are right to have their say, but now they've got to support us until the end of the season."

Coyle was subjected to abuse as he entered the stadium on Saturday, but he did not let it affect him scoring the only goal of the game.

In the Diamonds first attack, a free-kick from Lee Gardner, was heading straight into the net, when Andy Millen stuck out a hand and gave away a penalty. Coyle came forward to slot it home.

McCall said: "The fans were great and I hope they come back and support us."

Clyde boss Allan Maitland said: "We didn't deserve anything from the game."


HAPPY: Wishart; JOY: Scorer Coyle
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Copyright 2001 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

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Title Annotation:Sport
Publication:The Mirror (London, England)
Date:Apr 2, 2001
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