The Spiders make the short trip to Coatbridge on Saturday to take on an Albion Rovers side fighting for League Two survival having managed to get themselves off the foot of the table just a fortnight ago, for the first time this season. Despite a narrow defeat to promotion chasing Clyde at home last weekend, Kevin Harper’s side are still very much in form, having won three on the bounce going into that Clyde game and they will very much be looking for a return to winning ways.
Mark Roberts was all too aware of the challenge that awaits his side when he spoke to the club media team before training at Lesser Hampden on Thursday evening, stating: “First things first, it’s vital we put the performance of last Saturday behind us and focus on the challenge that lies ahead. Last week saw us up against a side that like ourselves, had little to play for and the way that the game played out wasn’t overly surprising. That type of game was always likely to come, and we need to make sure it doesn’t happen again.
“Four out of our next five matches are against sides that have plenty to play for and we expect that to be an intense run of games, starting at Cliftonhill. We must be vastly improved because if we play the way we did against Stirling Albion last Saturday we will lose the game, and that’s a fact. We need to be at it from the first minute because we know what we’re up against. Albion Rovers will be fearful of not getting beat given the situation they’re in but it’s vital that we go out and do well for ourselves and focus solely on achieving that.
“As I’ve said in recent weeks, our aim continues to be to finish as high up the table as possible and Saturday’s fixtures, should results go our way, give us an opportunity to move up into sixth. We know the best we can finish is fifth place and that’s where I want us to be come the end of the campaign. The players have been told that and they know they need to step up and kick on, Starting against Albion Rovers on Saturday.
“We need to go there and win our individual battles. We know it’s not likely to be a pretty game, but we know what we need to do to take three points from the game. We’re four games unbeaten and we’re looking to continue that decent run with a victory.
“We’re not without our injury concerns however and there will be late calls made on a couple of players who are struggling. As I’ve always said though, any changes made allow one of the other boys to come in, show me what they can do and stake their claim for a place going forward.
The opposition: For the majority of the season Rovers have occupied bottom spot in League Two but in recent weeks have found the form, and results, to remarkably lift them off the table. Taking 10 points from a possible 15 in March, with three wins on the bounce has given the Coatbridge side real hope of avoiding the drop.
Head to head: Played 221; Queen’s Park 78; Draw 64; Albion Rovers 79.
Previous meetings this season: 25/08/2018 Queen’s Park 2-0 Albion Rovers; 27/10/2018 Albion Rovers 0-3 Queen’s Park; 05/01/2019 Queen’s Park 2-2 Albion Rovers.
Recent form: Queen’s Park LLWWDD; Albion Rovers LDWWWL.
Last matches: 30/03/2019 Queen’s Park 0-0 Stirling Albion; Albion Rovers 0-1 Clyde.
Top scorers (all competitions): Queen’s Park – Lewis Hawke (10 goals); Albion Rovers – Lewis McLear (4 goals).
Match officials: Referee – Chris Fordyce. Assistants – Jordan Stokoe and Richard Murray.
Admission: Adults £13; Concessions £7; U16s £2; Carers free (Turnstiles will open at 2pm).
Supporters notes: Disabled supporters can access the ground via our East Stewart Street entrance which will allow parking next to our disabled viewing area. Albion Rovers ask anyone wishing to use this entrance to contact them prior to the match to allow them to put their name on the list. There will be no segregation in place but away supporters will be directed to the East end of the stand.
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Our next match: 13/04/2019 v Berwick Rangers at Shielfield Park. Kick off 3.00pm.
Other League Two matches: Annan Athletic v Berwick Rangers; Clyde v Peterhead; Cowdenbeath v Edinburgh City; Stirring Albion v Edinburgh City.