Dick Campbell believes there is a ‘magic spirit’ around Arbroath as he prepares for the biggest game in his five-year reign at the Angus club.
Red Lichties could go top of the Championship with a win over Kilmanock on Friday night as the BBC TV cameras come to town.
More than 2,000 are expected to pack into Gayfield with in excess of 1,200 tickets already sold, over and above the near 900 season ticket holders.
Biggest home crowd in three years
That will ensure Arbroath play in front of their biggest home crowd since a 1-0 home defeat to Dundee United in 2019.
Campbell is keen to play down the significance of an Arbroath victory – which would be their fifth consecutive win – but is thrilled with the start his side have made this year.
“I’m absolutely delighted with the way we’ve started this year,” said Campbell.
“The attitude from the players has been first class and there is a magic spirit about the whole club.
“It’s not just about what we are doing on the park. It’s the way the whole club is working together.
“It’s the buy-in we are getting from players to support the club.
“Things like Joel Nouble taking time out of his own day to drive up to Arbroath and help Arbroath Community Trust underline how well he has integrated.
“We’ve also sold more season tickets than ever before and the crowd are turning up for games in numbers.
“It’s a lovely, lovely place to work at right now and I want to keep enjoying it.”
‘Have to stay focused’
But while Campbell is content with life at Arbroath, he is refusing to get carried away.
Kilmarnock began the season as favourites to win the Championship title.
And despite a massive squad overhaul – which has seen them recruit 17 new players – they have started their campaign brightly.
Queen of the South 0 – 2 Arbroath – Post Match Interview @OfficialNoubz
Natural Instinct / One game at the time / always time for fans in / team spirit / feels like he has been at the club for two years / brotherly love @FrankNouble
Nouble! Nouble! https://t.co/DD2PXbNWHa
— Arbroath FC (@ArbroathFC) September 19, 2021
“We know what is at stake,” added Campbell. “It’s the same thing at stake for both clubs and Kilmarnock have done very well.
“Talk is cheap and I won’t make any cheap talk. We have to stay focused and keep working hard because that has got us to where we are today.”
David Gold is suspended for the visit of Kilmarnock after his red card at Queen of the South last weekend.
Jason Thomson is still recovering from a knee operation while Colin Hamilton will face a late fitness test.