Pinch yourself, it is real. Queen’s are sitting third in the table with only three games remaining and what might have seemed like an impossible dream at the start of the season continues. Last Saturday’s 2-0 home win over Albion Rovers propelled the Spiders into a play-off spot and ensured our destiny is very much in our own hands in the closing stages of the season.
The final run-in starts with an away tie to runaway champions and in-form Livingston. The Lions are worthy champions, but they have found the Spiders a tough nut to crack with Queen’s having taken seven from a possible nine points in meetings between the sides this season, so it’s all to play for at the Tony Macaroni Arena.
On the eve of the match the club media team spoke to Gus MacPherson to get his thoughts. Starting by looking back on the win over Albion Rovers last weekend a delighted Gaffer said: “The manner in which we worked was extremely pleasing, especially in the first half when Albion Rovers enjoyed a few spells of good possession. We naturally became a bit wary after failing to take a couple of good chances we had created but we kept going and got our noses in front courtesy of hard work and a composed finish.
“We said to the players at half time that the first 10 minutes of the second half would be key. We knew we could play better and reinforced the importance of ball retention for longer periods. That said, we didn’t expect that strike from David Galt inside the first minute.
“Overall we were delighted with the win. The players know they can play better and it’s now vital we continue that hard work in the three massive games we have left to play.”
Turning his thoughts to the Livingston game Gus said: “It’s without doubt the biggest game of the season for us. We have been saying for a number of months now that the next game becomes the most important – and that’s certainly true in this case. That said, there is absolutely no pressure on us going into the game. Our achievements so far this season have exceeded the realistic expectations of most people and we go into the match very much looking forward to it.
“Likewise though, the pressure is now off Livingston given that they have achieved their objective of winning the league. They are worthy champions who have played well for the majority of the season and they have a squad full of good players. It’ll undoubtedly be a tough game but it’s one that we can go into in a confident frame of mind and very much looking forward to. From our perspective, it’s still all to play for from both an individual and a collective team point of view, and we’ll go there looking to take something from the game.”
Gus confirmed that with no fresh injury concerns or suspensions, he will have the same squad at his disposal as that which faced Albion Rovers last weekend. Defenders Ross Millen and Scott Gibson remained side-lined as they battle back from injury.
The opposition: Runaway Champions Livi go into the match on the back of a six-game winning streak. The run has seen them score 10 and concede just three goals along the way. Their last outing was a 1-0 away win over Stenhousemuir last Saturday where a 54th minute Liam Buchanan goal proved enough to separate the teams.
Head to head: Played 14; Queen’s Park 3; Draw 2; Livingston 9.
Previous meetings this season: 27/08/2016 – Queen’s Park 1-0 Livingston; 24/12/2016 – Livingston 1-2 Queen’s Park; 04/03/2017- Queen’s Park 1-1 Livingston
Current form: Queen’s Park – DDDDWW; Livingston – WWWWWW.
Match officials: Referee – Grant Irvine. Assistants – Kylie McMullan and Greg Soutar.
Admission prices: Adults £12; Concessions £10* and Under 16’s £5. * Full time students on production of a current matriculation card, U18s, registered disabled (if with a carer and under 65 full price paid but carer admitted free).
Twitter: Live updates available via @QueensParkFC.
Other League 1 fixtures: Airdrieonians v Alloa Athletic; Albion Rovers v East Fife; Brechin City v Stranraer; Peterhead v Stenhousemuir.
Next match: Saturday, April 29 v Stenhousemuir at Hampden. Kick-off 3pm.