Ladbrokes League Two Player of the Month Marc Laird may only be an Edinburgh City player for another three weeks, but Manager of the Month Gary Jardine is hopeful the midfielder will extend his stay at Meadowbank.
The pair picked up the double award this week after City went unbeaten in November, winning three of their four games in all competitions, while last week’s victory at Arbroath lifted them to eighth in the table.
Laird’s contract expires on New Year’s Day, but the Manchester City academy graduate is open to remaining in black and white.
“I don’t know what the situation is yet,” he said. “I know the club would like to keep me and I’m listening to everything they’re saying. It’s about enjoying my football and Edinburgh City gave me the opportunity and made me feel really welcome, which has been important. It’s about being happy and I’m back home now with my family, my partner and we’re having another baby so it’s worked out really well.
“From minute one, everybody at the club – the secretary, the chairman, to Gary and Ross [McNamara, assistant manager], who I knew previously, made me feel really welcome.
“I had that relationship with Gary and Ross already as they played with my brother at Armadale when I used to watch him every week, so I knew what they were about.
“It helps when you’ve got a good dressing room. You can go to some places and some people are a bit big-time and it can be awkward, but there’s not one player in the City dressing room that isn’t a good lad.”
His manager praised Laird’s influence on his team-mates as well as his own displays.
“He’s a quality player but he also gave his team-mates some belief as well,” Jardine explained. “We’d love to keep him. He’s played at a level above where we are just now and we’re a club that wants to keep improving. To do that, bringing in players of his quality is vital.”
Jardine is also hoping the often mentioned ‘Manager of the Month curse’ doesn’t strike at home to Stirling Albion this afternoon.
“I think everybody’s said to me it’s a curse!” He laughed. “Putting that to one side, it’s about the players and we’ll need to improve from Wednesday’s [1-0 loss to East Fife], although we’re mindful they were a league above and a bit sharper at stopping us playing.”