Saturday sees the Spiders play their fourth and final Betfred Cup Group E tie against Premiership side Partick Thistle at Firhill. Despite qualification from the group looking an unlikely possibility those who have watched the team in recent weeks can take heart for the season ahead that the performances, against sides that we will come up against in league action this season, have been good.

Positives can undoubtedly be taken from the 2-0 away win over Stenny where the three points were accompanied by a strong performance. They can also be taken from Tuesday night’s spirited fightback against an experienced Airdrie side, where at half time we found ourselves trailing by two goals. The fighting spirit we saw in the second half at Hampden will hopefully be a sign of things to come for the season ahead.

On the eve of the trip to Firhill the club media team caught up with gaffer Gus MacPherson.

Reflecting on Tuesday night’s game against Airdrie, which he described as a “rollercoaster” he said: “It was a game that had a bit of everything. I thought we started the game fairly well, took the lead but then we stood off Airdrie and allowed them to play the type of football that we knew they were capable of. The result of that was us losing three goals in quick succession and going in at the break 3-1 down.

“Having said that I thought that in the second half we were able to show what we’re all about. We made it difficult for them by playing on the front foot. We squeezed the game up and put pressure on Airdrie higher up the pitch which ultimately resulted in getting us level and back into the game.”

Looking ahead to Saturday’s trip to Firhill the gaffer was all too aware of the challenge the game would present his squad. Gus said: “When the draw was made this was the game that the boys were looking forward to the most. It gives them the chance to test themselves against Premiership opponents and it’s a challenge the players will relish.

“We have acquitted ourselves pretty well so far in this competition and I feel we have made progress with each game we’ve played. This will be the toughest test that we will face but we’re only a week away from the league season starting and the players are eager to impress. It gives myself and the coaches the chance to continue to learn more about the players we have brought in.”

On the squad front Gus confirmed that he has no fresh injury concerns ahead of the game and that he will have the same squad at his disposal as he had on Tuesday night against Airdrie.

Stats Life

The opposition: With three wins from three games Thistle currently top Group E. They got their cup campaign off to a start with a 1-0 win against Airdrieonians at the Excelsior before recording a 2-1 home win over Championship side Queen of the South. Their third victory came courtesy of a 4-1 win against Stenhousemuir at Ochilview on Tuesday night.

Head to head: Played 163; Queen’s Park 61; Draw 28; Partick Thistle 74.

Last meeting of the teams: 14/08/2012: Queen’s Park 4 – 5 Partick Thistle (Ramsdens Cup Rd 2).

Recent form: Queen’s Park LWD; Partick Thistle WWW.

Match officials: Referee – Andrew Dallas. Assistants – Graeme Stewart and Stuart Stevenson.

Admission prices: Adults £10 and Concessions £5.

Twitter: Live updates available via @QueensParkFC.

Other Betfred Cup Group E ties: Queen of the South v Stenhousemuir.

Next match: v Kilmarnock U20s at Hampden on Tuesday, August 2. Kick off 19:45