The Spartans make their first ever trip to Hampden to face the Spiders on Saturday afternoon. Despite defeat on Tuesday night, there were plenty of positives to be taken by the Spiders faithful who will be hoping that the season ahead is more enjoyable than the last. With seven players making their debuts and another youngster making his first senior appearance, there were hints of promise amongst the ranks that will have supporters keen to see more on Saturday.
Ahead of the return to Hampden for the new season, the club media team caught up with the gaffer to get his thoughts.
Speaking about the Dumbarton game Gus said “I was delighted by the performance, I thought we played well against an experienced Dumbarton side who had a physical side to their game. We lost a goal to a set piece but considering the number of new faces and changes to the way we are trying to play there were a lot of positives to take from the game.
I thought we matched Dumbarton and it was good to give players like Calvin McGrory and Ali Miller a taste of what I call real football.
Although it is early days in the season as soon as a game becomes competitive the players want to play and show what they can do. The most pleasing performance for me was that of Ciaran Summers, after a few set backs last season he has came back fit and stronger after pre-season and is showing real strength defensively and offensively. We understand that it will take time for players to build partnerships and that’s what we will continue to work on in training.”
Looking forward to the game on Saturday Gus said: “Saturday will be a tough game against a good Spartans team, I watched them last Saturday against Dumbarton and they have got another fantastic result tonight. There will be some changes in terms of the squad and how we shape up at Hampden. We have some that have picked up knocks on Tuesday night but we will use it to give us a chance to look at other players and it’ll give us food for thought before the league campaign starts in a few weeks.”
The opposition: The Spartans have played well in their first two matches of the Betfred Cup, drawing with both Dumbarton and the Scottish Premiership’s newest side St Mirren. The draws place them third in the group having failed to win any of the bonus points from the resultant penalty shoot outs.
Head to head: Played 1; Queen’s Park 0; Draw 0; The Spartans 1.
Last meeting of the sides: 07/01/2006 – The Spartans 3 – 2 Queen’s Park.
Last matches: 17/07/2018: Dumbarton 1 – 0 Queen’s Park; 17/07/2018: St Mirren 2 – 2 The Spartans (St Mirren won 5-3 on penalties).
Match officials: Referee – Duncan Smith. Assistants – Gordon Crawford and Chris Hughes.
Admission prices: Adults £14; Senior Citizens (65+) £5; Student/Unemployed/Children (u16) £3.00.
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Our next match: 24/07/2018: vs St Mirren at Hampden Park. Kick off 7.45pm.
Other Betfred Cup Group H Fixtures: Dumbarton vs Kilmarnock.