AYR United boss Lee Bullen says he hopes the Honest Men's vociferous home support can help lift his team to victory at Somerset Park this weekend.

The Honest Men are set to host Airdrieonians on Saturday, December 16, in what will be Ayr's first home match in more than a month.

But Somerset has been a far from happy hunting ground for United so far this season, with August's 1-0 win over Inverness being Ayr's only home win of the Championship campaign. 

Despite Saturday's defeat to Dundee United - with Kai Fotheringham bundling home the only goal just after the hour at Tannadice as Jim Goodwin's men returned to the top of the Championship - Bullen says there were plenty of positives to take from the game.

"It was a painful one," he told the Advertiser, "because we put so much into the game, and to lose such a scrappy goal was a little bit heartbreaking.

“Dundee United had chances, but we created our own chances as well. I felt we did enough to get something out of the game.

“On another day, with luck going your way, if we avoid that scrappy goal we may have nicked one ourselves.

“It went against us. That’s the way our season has been at times, but if you take away the result, the overall performance was much more like the Ayr United we have been."

Now the Ayr boss is hoping the performance can be a springboard for his side to put another run of results together - having now gone five without a win in the league.

Bullen added: “I’m hoping now with all the players coming back from injury, giving us strength in depth, we can build a little bit of consistency in performances which will lead to improved results.

“There were a lot of positives to take from the overall performance on Saturday.

“It’s all about fostering that positive culture and taking the good aspects of the game – the hard work and the togetherness we showed on Saturday – and trying to build on that and keep the group together and positive.

“If we continue to work to that sort of level I truly believe that results will turn.

"They’ve gone up there and gone toe-to-toe with everybody’s favourite for the league.

“One thing we can’t do is match them on the financial front, but we can match them with fitness, hard work and togetherness.

“We proved that on Saturday, and that’s the type of thing we need to latch on to and take forward into our games over the Christmas period.

After this Saturday, the Honest Men end the year with a trip to Stark's Park on December 22 and then a home game with Dunfermline on December 30.

Heading into this weekend's fixture against Airdrieonians, Bullen said his squad need no reminder of how disappointing their home form has been this season.

Since that Inverness win on August 12, Ayr have taken just one point from 15 in front of their home support - with a draw against Queen's Park in their last game at Somerset following a gloomy run of losses to Partick Thistle, Raith Rovers, Dundee United and Morton in the league and to Falkirk in the Challenge Cup.

"Nobody needs to tell us how disappointing and inconsistent our home form has been this season," he said.

“We were 20 seconds away from it [a win] in our last home game, then we lost a silly, stupid goal against Queen’s Park.

“When everybody keeps talking about it, it adds a bit of pressure so we are trying to avoid the discussion of it in the changing room and get on with things.

“The fans were magnificent up at Tannadice on Saturday. Even when the boys went 1-0 down, the singing, the support and positivity was excellent.

"That’s what we hope they can bring on Saturday at Somerset.”

Bullen will take nearly a full squad into the clash with Rhys McCabe's Diamonds, with Andy Murdoch now set to be out for the rest of the season - while Nick McAllister is also likely to be rested after a slight hamstring tweak saw him substituted at Tannadice.

"Apart from one or two we have a full squad to choose from," Bullen said. "That’s massive for us, a club of our size.

“We’re not carrying the heaviest of squads as it is, so when we lose two or three it does have a big impact on us. To get everybody back makes my job a bit more difficult but that’s what I want.

“I think the strength in depth and pressure on each of the players to do well in training and games is paramount.

"That’s what our success was built on last season and I’m hoping now that everybody is back to full fitness that is something we can build on again for the second half of the season.”

Now, Bullen is hoping they can pick up the first of a run of results this weekend, and head into 2024 with a positive feeling around Somerset Park.

He added: “Every club is going through a wee spell of putting a couple of runs together.

“We put two or three games together and we shot up into the playoff positions, Inverness have put two or three together and they’ve shot away from the bottom into mid-table.

“We were comfortable winners at Dunfermline, and then they put a run together that’s taken them up into the playoffs.

“That’s what’s going to happen this season and that’s what we need to aim to do - put some sort of run of results together, try and avoid defeats, and just rack those points up.

"We’re certainly capable of matching virtually all the teams in this league on our day.

“There should be no fear whoever we are playing against. We need to go out and prove that. It’s all right talking the talk; you’ve got to walk the walk.”