It’s the romance of the cup this weekend as Ray McKinnon’s side make the short journey down the M77 to take on Kilmarnock at Rugby Park in the fourth round of the William Hill Scottish Cup. To say the Spiders are underdogs would be putting it mildly, with 30 teams and three leagues separating the sides, but as the old saying goes; anything could happen in the cup, and those travelling to Ayrshire to back Queen’s will have everything crossed for an upset.

Ahead of the match the club media team caught up with Ray McKinnon to get his thought’s and previewing the game Ray said: “It’s obviously a very big task for us but it’s a game that we go into knowing that the pressure is on the opposition. We know the expectation is on Kilmarnock, but we want to go there, work as hard as we can and give it our best shot.

“Anything can happen in the cup and there’s always going to upsets so it’s vital from our point of view that we give a good account of ourselves and demonstrate real concertation as well as determination.

“Kilmarnock are coming off the back of a winter break which will have allowed them time to regroup. They have also added to the squad, bringing in Harry Bunn from Huddersfield Town, and will be looking to hit the ground running and put an end to the run of form they were in leading up to the break.

“That said, we go into the game in a really good place and with a real spring in the step amongst the boys in the squad from the events of the last week. It was a hugely important win against Edinburgh City and that was followed up with the entire squad being offered contracts during the week. The players know that there’s a lot at stake between now and the end of the season and I hope they will be looking to demonstrate the ability to work as hard as possible as they look towards the potential of a contract beyond the end of the season.

The gaffer confirmed that he is not without his injuries worries to seek ahead of the match with at least a couple of players struggling to be fit in time, he did however stress that whoever comes in and starts the game will be determined to give a good account of themselves and stake a claim for a place when we return to league business next Saturday.

Turning his thoughts to matters off the park, Ray was delighted to confirm the arrival of his Assistant Manager, Laurie Ellis, who officially joined the club this week. Laurie worked as assistant to Ray McKinnon at Dundee United in 2016.  In addition to his time at Tannadice, Laurie has also held coaching positions at Raith Rovers and Queen of the South.

Stats Life

The opposition: The Rugby park side go into the match looking to end a seven-game winless run which has seen them lose six and draw the other of those fixtures. Their last outing, prior to the Scottish Premiership’s winter break, was a narrow 1-0 defeat away to St Mirren on 29th December. They will also be looking to end a run of six games without finding the net with their last goal coming on 30th November in a 2-2 draw against Hibs at Easter Road.

Head to head: Played 127; Queen’s Park 27; Draw 31; Kilmarnock 69. Scored – Queen’s Park 172; Kilmarnock 259.

Last meeting of the teams: 27/07/2019 Kilmarnock 2-0 Queen’s Park, League Cup Group Stage.

Last matches: 11/01/20 Edinburgh City 1-2 Queen’s Park; 29/12/19 St Mirren 1-0 Kilmarnock.

Recent form: Queen’s Park LDLLWW; Kilmarnock DLLLLL.

Top scorers (all competitions): Queen’s Park – Salim Kouider-Aïssa (14); Kilmarnock – Eamon Brophy (4).

Match officials: Referee – Colin Steven; Assistant Referees – Douglas Ross and Stuart Stevenson.

Ticket information: Kilmarnock have confirmed visiting fans will be able to purchase tickets on Saturday from 2pm at the old Fitness Centre on Rugby Road, adjacent to the turnstiles for the Chadwick Stand. G4S staff will be on hand to direct fans to the ticket booth.

Facebook: Get the team news at 2.15pm followed by live goal, half time and full time score updates via our Facebook page.

Twitter: Get the team news at 2.15pm followed by live updates throughout the match via our Twitter account @QueensParkFC.

Instagram: Get the team news at 2.15pm followed by live goal, half time and full time score updates via our Instagram page.

QPTV: Post match reaction from the manager will be available shortly after the game. Match highlights to follow on Sunday on our YouTube channel.

Next match: 25/01/2020 v Albion Rovers at Hampden. Kick off 3pm.