Alan Stubbs’ Premiership newcomers St Mirren are the visitors Hampden for Tuesday night’s penultimate Betfred Cup Group H match. Stubbs, returning to Hampden for the first time since his Scottish Cup final success with Hibs in 2016, will be looking for his side too add to the four points picked up from their first two matches but they will be up against a Queen’s team eager to test themselves against a top-level, experienced side, a point that Gus made himself in the build-up to the match.
Ahead of the game the club media team caught up with the gaffer to get his thoughts on the Spartan game. Gus said “I was delighted with the result. Spartans were a tough opposition who had received a lot of credit for their previous two games and today we can see that praise was well deserved. They were fit, well organised and are technical in the way they play, we had to respect that today so to claim a victory is very pleasing. I think we controlled the game but Spartans were able to frustrate us. The game might have been different, if we had got a goal from the chances we created in the second half the game might have opened up but they took they lead and that seemed to kick start us. We equalised quickly and then we were hopeful the game would go our way, and credit to the players they worked extremely hard.
It’s now just not match fitness that we can see improving there are other aspects to the game that we are continually working on. The players are still learning about each other and we have been working on the players learning to trust each other, where it’s the man beside them or behind them, they need t be able to trust the passes being played and these partnerships will then become effective.
The pleasing thing from today’s game was the influence he younger players had on the game, especially Calvin McGrory who is one of the most technical players to come through the ranks in my time here. But credit to him and Ali Miller who will continue to work hard and improve. James Grant has impressed us during pre-season and because of this gets his chance today.”
Turning his thought to the St Mirren game the gaffer said “We are looking forward to the game, the players are excited given where a lot of them were playing only about a month ago. They now have games against two Premiership teams who will have aspirations of being in the top 6 this season. We know what we will get off the players, they will work hard but we have told them to enjoy themselves.
These are the types of games that we look forward to and they will set us up well for the tough league campaign we will have ahead, starting at Peterhead a week on Saturday.”
The opposition: St Mirren go into the game on the back of two draws, one of them being with The Spartans, our opponents from Saturday. They started their Betfred Cup campaign with a 0-0 draw with Kilmarnock and sit third in Group H after taking both bonus points from the penalty shoot-outs. The Buddies played Sunderland in a friendly on Saturday and were beaten 6-0.
Head to head: Played 117; Queen’s Park 45; Draw 21; St Mirren 51.
Last meeting of the sides: 02/08/2003 St Mirren 3 – 2 Queen’s Park
Last matches: 21/07/2018 Queen’s Park 2 – 1 The Spartans; 17/07/2018 St Mirren 2 – 2 The Spartans (St Mirren won 5-3 on penalties).
Match officials: Referee – Nick Walsh. Assistants – David McGeachie and Colin McAlpine.
Admission prices: Adults £14; Senior Citizens (65+) £5; Student/Unemployed/Children (u16) £3.00.
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Our next match: 28/07/2018: vs Kilmarnock at Rugby Park. Kick off 3.00pm.
Other Betfred Cup Group H Fixtures: The Spartans vs Kilmarnock.