So here we are, on the eve of our final league match of what has been a tremendous season so far. Mathematically we might not be out of the running for a play-off spot, but everyone in the Spiders camp will agree that last Saturday’s 2-0 home defeat at the hands of Stenhousemuir has left Gus’ men facing a monumental task against Airdrieonians.
Queen’s go into the game at the Excelsior needing a win and a substantial swing in goal difference, but no matter the outcome, no one could fault Gus, his coaching staff, or the playing squad for their remarkable efforts this season.
Ahead of the game the club media team caught up with the gaffer to get his thoughts. Looking back on the Stenny game Gus said: “It was naturally a very disappointing result. We were wary of the game but I felt we started well and could have taken the lead but when they scored first – after some poor decision making on our part – that gave them the lift.
“For some reason, we then went very flat, which has been so unlike us. We didn’t started the second half in the manner in which we wanted to, and the second Stenny goal gave us a huge mountain to climb.
“By the standards we have set throughout this season in terms of passing the ball and being positive in so many situations, we just didn’t get anywhere near those levels.
“After the match, it was evident in the dressing room that the group were hurting and that in itself is a fantastic sign. When you’ve had such a good season and then lose a game which could have meant so much, it’s a good reaction to see how it’s affected the squad in the manner which it has.”
Turning his thoughts to Airdrie, Gus said: “We go into the game looking to get a reaction from the results of the past two matches. We know it’ll be a hugely difficult match against a side who have had a great result last Saturday away to East Fife.
“We know that it’s going to be a huge ask for us to gain a play-off spot, but the players will be going into the game looking to restore their pride – which has certainly taken a knock after last Saturday’s result.
“We’ve shown on many occasions this season that we are capable of going away from home and getting positive results. We know that if we are to take anything from the game we’ll have to ensure we are competitive from the start and that’s something we hope we can achieve.”
The opposition: Third place Airdrieonians go into the final league fixture of the season in the knowledge a single point is enough to guarantee their place in the play-offs. Their last game was a convincing 4-0 away win against fellow play-off hopefuls East Fife last Saturday. An Andrew Ryan hat trick and an Iain Russell goal for the Diamonds was more than enough to overcome the Fifers and put them in pole position in the fight for a play-off spot.
Head to head: Played 148; Queen’s Park 36; Draw 55; Airdrieonians 57.
Previous meetings this season
06/08/2016 – Queen’s Park 1-3 Airdrieonians
22/10/2016 – Airdrieonians 4-1 Queen’s Park
07/01/2017 – Queen’s Park 2-1 Airdrieonians
Recent form: Queen’s Park DDWWLL; Airdrieonians LDLLLW.
Match officials: Referee – John McKendrick. Assistants – Graham Chambers and George King.
Admission prices: Adult £16; Concession £10; Child (U16’s) £7; Parent & child £20.
Twitter: Live updates available via @QueensParkFC.
Other League One fixtures: Albion Rovers v Livingston; Peterhead v Alloa Athletic; Stenhousemuir v Brechin City; Stranraer v East Fife.