Arbroath v Queen’s Park
Arbroath is the next destination for the Spiders as we head to Gayfield to take on League One’s fourth placed side. The Red Lichties may have come out on top in the two previous clashes this season but Gus’ men have looked a much different outfit in recent weeks in comparison to how they began the season, and that was a message the gaffer was keen to get over when he spoke to the club media team on the eve of the Arbroath clash.
Starting by giving his thoughts on last Saturday’s somewhat disappointing 1-1 home draw with Stranraer Gus said: “We were honest enough to admit that the game itself was rubbish. We could have tried to paint a different picture with a scoreline of two each but for long spells the match lacked any real quality.
“The players knew at half time what kind of game they were in and we stressed the importance to them of being more patient in the final third. We never really got that but the positive aspect is that we still managed to take a point from a game that we had not played well in. I believe that was a match we would have lost having played like that earlier in the season.
“The most important thing is that there was a frustration in the dressing room afterwards. The players know they can play better and know they have set the standards higher than they reached in the game. That said we had three very tough games inside the space of a week and that was tough going on the players. That may have had a bearing on the energy levels, but we certainly don’t want to make excuses.”
Looking ahead to the Arbroath match Gus said: “It goes without saying that it’s going to be yet another very difficult game against a strong and experienced Arbroath side. We lost at this venue early on in the season where it could be argued that we deserved more from the game. Arbroath are fourth in the league on merit and it’s not a surprise to see them doing so well.
“However, we go into the game in a positive frame of mind and with the momentum of our unbeaten run behind us. We know we will need to be at our best, work hard and make sure we compete from the start if we are to give ourselves a chance of taking something.
“We can take positives from last week’s game and go there with hopes of getting something. If we can match the standards set in recent months, then we will have a chance. Those who have watched us throughout the season will be all too aware that it has taken us time to gel but that’s all part of the challenge at this club and I believe we are now seeing the best this squad has to offer.”
On the squad front there was good and bad news from the gaffer. Sean Burns misses out through suspension due to an accumulation of yellow cards but Gus confirmed the squad is bolstered by the return of David Galt and Scott Gibson. Long term casualties Ross Millen and Ewan MacPherson remain side-lined as they continue their battle back to full fitness.
The opposition: The Red Lichties go into the game sitting fourth in the table and on the back of two away victories in a row. Their last outing was an impressive 2-1 win against league leaders Ayr United. Despite going behind to a fourth minute Alan Forrest goal, Arbroath got themselves level in the 68th minute through Ryan Wallace but then went down to 10 men with just under 10 minutes remaining after Thomas O’Brien saw red. However that didn’t deter them and with just two minutes of normal time remaining Leighton McIntosh grabbed the winning goal ensuring the visitors left with all three points.
Head to head: Played 147; Queen’s Park 55; Draw 40; Arbroath 52.
Previous meetings this season: 05/08/2017 – Arbroath 2-0 Queen’s Park; 11/11/2017 Queen’s Park 2-2 Arbroath.
Recent form: Queen’s Park – LDWDDD; Arbroath WLLDWW.
Top scorers: Queen’s Park – Adam Cummins (7); Arbroath – Ryan McCord (9).
Admission prices: Adults £14; Concessions £8; Adult & Child £17.
Match officials: Referee – Colin Steven. Assistants – John McCrossan and Calum Doyle.
Twitter: Live updates available via @QueensParkFC
Facebook: Get the team news pre-match as well as goal, half time and full-time score updates via our Facebook page www.facebook.com/QueensParkFootballClub
Other League One fixtures: East Fife v Alloa Athletic; Forfar Athletic v Albion Rovers; Raith Rovers v Ayr United; Stranraer v Airdrieonians.
Our next match: 27/01/2018 v Ayr United at Hampden. Kick off 3pm.