ANDY GRAHAM believes Alloa's performance on Friday night showcased the mentality Brian Rice has brought to the club.

Fresh off the back of three league wins in a row, Rice made nine changes to the starting XI but still saw his side defeat Airdrie 1-0.

Graham, one of the players who came in to the starting line-up, told Advertiser Sport: "It's brilliant. You always want to win.

"When you're out you're desperate to play, you can never take that away. The boys that came in were all bursting to play and that's what you want. You don't want to train all week and not play.

"And that's the thing, we've got a good squad, it's competitive and that's what drives people on because the guys that came in were at it because they know they've got to be at it to get in the team next week.

"That's the mentality that the manager's brought and everyone's buying into it and you seen that in the way we played."

Despite the raft of changes, Graham knew the level of intensity the team has been playing with would not drop.

Asked if he was confident, he said: "Absolutely, because I see what we train with every Tuesday and Thursday and you know the boys are chomping at the bit to get that opportunity so when the manager said he was making changes we were all raring to go.

"It was a very open game but one that we very much deserved to win, it wasn't a 1-0 smash and grab.

"That's why you train at that level, so that you're ready.

"Listen, I've been at clubs where boys that aren't playing can turn up to training and go through the motions and don't put in the effort and intensity but the manager wouldn't have that. We, as players, wouldn't have that and I think that's important."

The win seals Alloa's progress to the next round and Graham believes respecting the competition is crucial because it's an opportunity to win a trophy.

He said: "It's one that baffles me, this competition, because I think I would always treat it really, really highly because at the end of the day it's a right good chance to win a trophy for any club in the lower leagues so why would you not treat that seriously?"

Momentum is building within the squad and Graham says that's down to the players in the squad and the belief installed in them by the manager.

He said: "We always knew, even when we get a bad result – the Edinburgh game was a bad result – we know we've got a good group so we know we're going to bounce back. Our home record's been pretty solid so that's something we've got to continue to build on.

"The manager says it all the time: we don't fear anybody."

While Graham undertaking a dual role on and off the pitch this season, he insists it's imperative that all the players stick to the same level to ensure that intensity never drops no matter who is playing.

On coaching more this season, he said: "I love it. I love football, I love everything that goes with it so whatever the manager's wanting me to do, that's always been my attitude.

"If I'm involved, that's my aim and it always will be my aim to be involved on a Saturday and that's never going to change.

"But, if I'm not, I'll not spit the dummy out, I'll not get upset, I'll just go out there and work harder and make sure the boys that aren't playing have still got that good mentality and they do, they're brilliant.

"Even doing the runs after the game, it's the hardest thing that you can do but we do it so that you can come in and be at it and be at the [required] level of intensity and I think we showed that."