Twelve weeks to the day after sealing promotion to League One, the Spiders look to get their new league season off to a positive start as Airdrie come calling at Hampden. And on the eve of the game, Manager Gus MacPherson had a simple message: “The challenge starts here.”

The club media team caught up with the gaffer to get his thoughts for the new league campaign, and when asked about his hopes for the season ahead, Gus said: “It’s undoubtedly going to be a challenge for the players and coaches alike, but it’s one that we will very much look forward to. I won’t be setting targets as such because I don’t want to set players up to fail but what I will say is that the feeling among the squad is one of quiet confidence.

“There is a determination to succeed among this group of players and I believe they are capable of rising to the challenges they will face this season. Expectations of us outwith the club will be low but that’s not something that will affect us because the feeling among the players and coaches is one of belief and optimism.”

Looking ahead to the visit of Airdrie, Gus said: “It will be good to get the league campaign underway. We have worked hard throughout pre-season to be ready for this and it’s a game that we all look forward to.

“I thought we played well for around three quarters of the recent cup game against Airdrie. Despite a poor spell during the first half when we fell behind I thought we were much improved in the second half and we fought our way back into the game. If Saturday’s game is anything like that last one, then the fans are in for a cracker.”

On the squad front, Gus confirmed that a number of players with niggling injuries may face late fitness tests ahead of the match. He will definitely be without the services of Jamie McKernon, John Carter and Tony Quinn who all miss out through injury. They will be joined on the sidelines by Captain Sean Burns who misses out through suspension.

Stats Life

The opposition: The Diamonds got their competitive season underway with four Betfred Cup ties. They suffered a narrow 1-0 home defeat to Premiership side Partick Thistle before going down 2-0 against Queen of the South at Palmerston just a few days later. They then recorded their first win in that competition, beating fellow League One side Stenhousemuir 2-1 at the Excelsior before a 3-3 draw at Hampden.

Head to head: Played 120; Queen’s Park 35; Draw 30; Airdrieonians 55.

Last meeting of the sides: Queen’s Park 3-3 Airdrie (Airdrie won penalty shootout 8-7) Tuesday, July 26, 2016.

Recent form: Queen’s Park LWLLW; Airdrieonians LLWW.

Admission prices: Adults £12; Senior Citizens/Unemployed/Children £2; Parent & Child £13 plus £1 for each additional child.

Match officials: Referee – David Lowe. Assistants – Gavin Harris and Ross Menzies.

Twitter: Live updates available via @QueensParkFC.

Other League 1 fixtures: Alloa Athletic v Peterhead; Brechin City v Stenhousemuir; East Fife v Albion Rovers; Livingston v Stranraer.

Next match: v Stenhousemuir at Ochilview on Saturday, August 13. Kick off 3pm.