BY ALAN TEMPLE – @CCP_Sport
DARREN DODS was delighted to see rookie boss Mark Wilson kick off his managerial career with a win last week – after experiencing being thrown in at the deep end himself.
However, he is determined to hand the youngest manager in the SPFL his first taste of defeat when Brechin visit Airdrie in a clash of the promotion hopefuls this afternoon.
Wilson, 32, was appointed the new Diamonds head coach 12 days ago, replacing Kevin McBride in a shock shake-up which also saw Gordon Dalziel named director of football at the Lanarkshire outfit.
Dods knows the feeling. He was pitched into the dugout at Glebe Park with no experience last summer, ultimately winning a fraught fight against relegation before moulding his team into title challengers this term.
“I’m always rooting for young managers to come in and get a win under their belt as quickly as possible,” said the former Dundee United and St Johnstone favourite.
”I’ve had that experience of going in to a club as a new manager – it’s your first job, you are a young boss and, if it goes five or six games without a win, it can become a difficult situation.
“The pressure can mount and you might have to address confidence issues and things like that. It can be tough. So I was delighted to see him get that win against Albion Rovers to get the ball rolling.
“Obviously I’m looking for us to get the win over hm this weekend but, after that, hopefully he does well and we have another promising young Scottish coach.”
While looking forward to pitting his wits against Wilson, Dods knows the real battle will be on the pitch, and he has lauded Airdrie’s strike-duo of Iain Russell and Andy Ryan as the best in League 1.
With leaders Livi in IRN-BRU Cup action on Sunday, Brechin will climb to the top of the table with a win, but Dods knows he must shackle the prolific pair.
“They are a real handful and have plenty of attacking talent,” Dods continued. “In Andy Ryan and Iain Russell, I’d say they have the best front-two in the league.
“They have 19 goals between them so we are aware that we will have our hands full dealing with them and we’ll plan for that. We’ll be a switched on for that.
“They have won four out of their last five games and had a great result against Albion Rovers last week, so we know the task that is facing us.
“It will difficult but we always back ourselves to do well and – with boys like Alan Trouten, Ally Love, Ross Caldwell – cause the opposition problems.”