Queen’s start the second quarter of their league campaign with a testing away trip to face Airdrie. The Spiders closed out “Round 1″ of the fixtures with a good home win over East Fife, while the Diamonds suffered a disappointing home loss against Peterhead.

But while that victory will have boosted confidence in the QP camp, Gus MacPherson is expecting a stern examination when we head for the Excelsior.

On the eve of the match, Gus told the club media team that he was “delighted” with the result and the performance at Hampden last week.

He added: “After a disappointing run, it was important for us to get three points – and the players couldn’t have put any more effort in to secure the result.

“The only fault I could possibly find would be that we could have scored more goals and made the game safe earlier. But overall, I was very happy with the players’ attitude.”

Looking back over the season to date, Gus said things had panned out much as expected. He added: “Before a ball was kicked, we felt it would be a very competitive league, and that has proved to be the case. Every team is capable of winning on their day, and we have had our share of good results – as well as a few that have disappointed us.

“One thing that has become crystal clear is that the margins between victory and defeat are very slim, and if you make mistakes, you will be punished for them.”

Looking ahead to the Airdrie game, the Gaffer expected to have the same squad as last week at his disposal, while there was also some good news on one of the long-term absentees. Jamie McKernon is back playing again – and is well on the road to recovery. Young Gavin Mitchell is a bit further away after his arm break, but he is on the mend.

As far as the game is concerned, Gus warned: “Airdrie have been a wee bit up and down this season, but they have a good balance in the squad and will be desperate to get back to winning ways. For our part, we will have to retain our concentration for the full 90 minutes, compete from the very start … and try to make sure we take the chances that come our way.

“It will be a hard game, but the players have shown they are capable of some quality performances already this season. If they produce their best, they are capable of heading home to Hampden with a good result.”

Stats Life

The opposition: Airdrie go into the match on the back of a disappointing home defeat against Peterhead last time out. However, they are buoyed by the knowledge that they have already beaten the Spiders twice this season – 8-7 on penalties in the Betfred League Cup; and 3-1 last time out at Hampden in the league. The Diamonds sit seventh in the table just now, one place (and one point) above Queen’s, having won three and drawn two of their opening nine matches.

Head to head: Played 121; Queen’s Park 35; Draw 30; Airdrieonians 56.

Last meeting of the sides: Queen’s Park 1-3 Airdrie Saturday, August 6, 2016.

Recent form: Queen’s Park LLLLLW; Airdrieonians DLDLWL.

Admission prices: Adults £16; Concessions £10; Parent & Child £20; Child (under 16) £7.

Match officials: Referee – Greg Aitken. Assistants – Joseph Lawson Tony Fullerton.

Twitter: Live updates available via @QueensParkFC.

Other League 1 fixtures: Albion Rovers v Peterhead; Livingston v Alloa Athletic ; Stenhousemuir v Brechin City; Stranraer v East Fife.

Next match: v Stenhousemuir at Hampden on Saturday,  October 29. Kick off 3pm.