FRASER AIRD was delighted to bounce back from a disappointing show against Brora on Sunday with a match-winning display against Elgin last night.

The teenage winger was part of a slightly static showing in the first 45 minutes against the Highland League side at Dudgeon Park.

And it wasn’t until 10 new players came on at the break that the pace picked up, with Lewis Macleod scoring a double to see Davie Kirkwood’s team off.

Yesterday at Borough Briggs is was a similar story, with the side which played the first half having plenty of the ball but lacking a cutting edge.

There was a clear change of tempo after the restart as everyone was replaced, with Aird a key player in the 1-0 victory.

As well as getting the only goal, his direct approach caused the hosts a variety of problems and manager Ally McCoist was keen to highlight that afterwards.

Aird said: “I don’t think I played particularly well in the last game up in Brora but I had a flyer from the start of the second half.

“I had two shots within a couple of minutes and going on to get the goal summed up my performance. I thought I played quite well and the gaffer praised me after the game.

“When I made my debut against Motherwell last year, the gaffer said he thought I was direct and that I did that brilliantly that night.

“Ever since then, that’s something he has told me to work on and he wants me to get to the byline, cut the ball back and put balls in to the strikers.

“He wants me to use my pace as an asset and get up and down that line as much as I can so that I’m a threat to the back four.

“Nobody likes it when someone is running at them and that is one of my strengths so I just need to keep doing that and hopefully I can keep my spot in the team.

“You need to try to improve every time you play. If you have a bad performance, you need to go out and prove yourself to the gaffer in the next one and that’s what I did at Elgin.

“I scored a goal and put on what I think was a decent show so I need to push on now and train hard so that I can hopefully do well again the next time the gaffer gives me a chance.”

This is Aird’s first full pre-season as a senior player after he spent what was a disjointed summer last year working with the reserve squad.

Although he’s only 18 and still developing physically, he’s enjoying it and coping with the harsh demands of a tough schedule.

Aird added: “Everyone thinks it’s difficult when you have to do the work but after you’ve done it you feel much better.

“As the coaches say, it’s in the locker and it stays with you for the rest of the season. The more hard work you put in now, the better it will be for the whole campaign.

“I’m getting a good pre-season under my belt with the first team and that’s obviously much better than working round at the youth side of Murray Park.

“I’m just going to keep pushing on, getting stronger and getting quicker and hopefully I’ll get as many minutes as possible before the campaign starts then kick on from there.”

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