The Spiders get their league campaign underway with the mammoth 364-mile round trip to Peterhead on Saturday. Our last league campaign ended with disappointment and relegation to League 2, but Gus and the backroom staff have been hard at work over the summer recruiting players from a variety of levels of the Scottish game.
After a Betfred cup campaign which saw the squad go head to head, and hold their own, against sides from higher levels, the Spiders support have reason to be optimistic for the season ahead having already seen flashes of what prompted the gaffer to make some of the signings he made over the summer, with other newcomers patiently waiting to prove their worth.
On the eve of the Peterhead clash the club media team caught up with Gus to get his thoughts on pre-season and the season ahead.
Gus explained: “I am delighted with the way pre-season has gone. It’s ultimately all about players getting fitter, sharper and preparing for the league campaign getting underway. There’s a frustration that we have a couple of players who have picked up knocks but overall the players have worked hard and are eager to get started.
The Betfred Cup games went as well as we could have hoped for. All we asked for in those games is for players to have been competitive and we managed that against some fairly tough opposition. It’s now important for the players to have the same desire in the league as they had against Premiership opposition. We have a healthy squad and it is up to the players to be ready when they are called upon.”
Looking forward to the league season the gaffer said: “We want to be competitive in the league, and from what we have seen in the games so far, it certainly looks like that will be the case. There is competition for places and a good attitude among the squad. It will be tough as we know there are strong teams across the league, however we believe if we can steer clear of longer term injuries we can be at the top end of the table, but this can only be achieved by hard work and winning games.”
Previewing the match on Saturday against Peterhead he said “There were some grimaces when the fixtures were announced but it doesn’t matter when you play Peterhead it is always going to be a tough game. They have a fantastic home record and a lot of experience within the team. Jim McInally has achieved a lot in the game both playing and managing, so will have his team ready for the game. We need the players to have the same attitude as they did in the previous two games and not take their feet off the gas and if we do that, hopefully we can be competitive.
On the injury front Gus confirmed that he will be without the services of Ewan MacPherson, Dan Kindlan, Lewis Magee and Dominic McLaren with late decisions being made on a few others.
The opposition: The Blue Toon will be looking to make positive start to the league campaign after a disappointing run in the Betfred Cup. They drew against Brechin picking up the bonus point for penalties, before losing to Dunfermline, Stirling Albion and Dundee. They also failed to score a goal in these games, something which they will be hoping to rectify sooner rather than later. Peterhead finished last season in second place, missing out on automatic promotion by just one point, and then losing the play-off final to Stenhousemuir. The Blue Toon ranks are filled with experienced players, some more familiar to travelling Spiders fans than others, they have Rory McAllister who scored 32 goals in all competitions last year and during summer McInally added experienced centre back Michael Dunlop to his squad. The former Spider was joined at Balmoor by veteran forward Derek Lyle, latterly of Queen of the South.
Head to head: Played 45; Queen’s Park 9; Draw 11; Peterhead 25.
Last meeting of the sides: 08/04/2017 Queen’s Park 2-0 Peterhead.
Last matches: 28/07/2018 Kilmarnock 2-0 Queen’s Park; 25/07/2018 Peterhead 0-2 Dundee.
Match officials: Referee – Kevin Graham. Assistants – Graham McNeillie and Colin Drummond.
Admission prices: Adults £12; Concessions (Over 65, 12-16 Year Old) £6.
Twitter: You can keep up to date with all the action as it happens at @QueensParkFC https://twitter.com/queensparkfc
Facebook: Get the team news pre-match as well as goal, half time and full-time score updates via our Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/QueensParkFootballClub/
QPTV: For highlights and post-match interviews. Subscribe to our YouTube channel and never miss any content https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCne2K4VeqZub1dncVjbFwsA
QPTV: Gus MacPherson’s preview of the season ahead https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kb7nM5RCs5c&list=PLcLXDVs-kDE8cUMlk-Y4TagmAQK_SlpVw
Our next match: 11/08/2018 v Berwick Rangers at Hampden Park. Kick off 3.00pm.
Other SPFL League 2 Fixtures: Annan Athletic v Elgin City, Berwick Rangers v Stirling Albion, Clyde v Cowdenbeath and Edinburgh City v Albion Rovers.