Arbroath v Queen’s Park
Gayfield is the destination for the Spiders’ League One opening fixture against newly promoted Arbroath. Gus’ men go into the game on the back of a very respectable Betfred Cup campaign which saw them recover from a 5-1 opening match defeat at the hands of Premiership side Motherwell, and go on to record a 2-2 draw against Morton at Cappielow, losing the bonus point 4-2 on penalties, and then subsequently win back-to-back games against Edinburgh City at home and Berwick Rangers away.
Ultimately Queen’s may have dropped out of the Betfred Cup having finished third in the five team group, but many positives will be taken from the chance to play competitive football ahead of the start of the league campaign and on the eve of that getting underway, the club media team spoke to gaffer Gus MacPherson to get his thoughts, starting by how he felt pre-season and the Betfred Cup had gone.
Gus said; “I was delighted with how pre-season went. Ultimately, it’s about building the fitness levels and avoiding injuries and we’ve managed that. The results were somewhere irrelevant but it was excellent to have a competitive edge before the league gets underway.
“I know a lot of managers have criticised the Betfred Cup as they think the competitive games comes too early but that’s not been the case for ourselves. Having these games early on has assisted in adding the competitive edge to the squad early on and that can only be positive.
“We are very much looking forward to the challenge that lies ahead this season and that starts with what I believe will be one of the toughest tests we’ll face in Arbroath at Gayfield. Outwith games against the three full time clubs in the league games won’t come much hard than what we face on Saturday.
“We know what kind of game to expect and the onus is very much on us to go there and ensure we compete. The players will be keen to show once again that we’re capable of competing at this level and it would be great to do that and take something from the game.”
When asked about his hopes for the season ahead the gaffer said: “We simply hope to be as competitive as possible. We exceeded most people’s expectations last season and we can take a lot from that. That said I believe the league is every bit as strong this season and with the addition of Forfar and Arbroath that just adds to the challenge.”
Gus confirmed that he goes into Saturday’s game without the services of Scott Gibson who is sidelined through injury and Ryan Docherty who is unavailable.
Head to head: Played 145; Queen’s Park 55; Draw 40; Arbroath 50.
Last meeting of the sides: 19/03/2016; Queen’s Park 2-1 Arbroath (Scottish League Two).
Last matches: 25/07/2017; Berwick Rangers 2-3 Queen’s Park. 29/07/2017; Arbroath 0-0 Ross County (Ross County won 5-4 on penalties)
Recent form: Queen’s Park LDWW; Arbroath WWLD.
Match officials: Referee – Gavin Duncan. Assistants – Gavin Harris and David Watt.
Admission prices: Adults £14, Concessions £8 and Adult & Child £17.
Other League One fixtures: Albion Rovers v Ayr United; Alloa Athletic v Raith Rovers;
Forfar Athletic v Airdrieonians; Stranraer v East Fife.
Our next match: Saturday, August 12, v Albion Rovers at Hampden. Kick-off 3pm.