Final push

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THE league title may be out of reach for Queen’s Park, but a promotion place is very much still in sight.

The Hampden side currently sit in second place in the third division, in the driving seat for a playoff spot.

While there has been a gulf in class between Rangers – who defeated Queen’s Park 4-1 at Hampden on Sunday– and the rest, that doesn’t mean Spiders’ manager Gardner Speirs is left thinking what might have been if the Ibrox side had not been demoted.

He said: “Rangers are the only team ahead of us but if they weren’t in the league, the whole dynamic of the division would be changed, who knows how events would have transpired.

“We have worked hard and focussed on ourselves and will continue to do so until the end of the season.”

More than 11,000 turned out at the weekend to watch amateurs QP take on a highly-paid Rangers side featuring four players capped by Scotland in Ian Black, Lee Wallace, Lee McCulloch and Neil Alexander.

However, Gardner still expected more from his players, who could only manage a late consolation goal from sub Lawrence Shankland to Rangers’ four.

He told ExtraSport: “I was obviously disappointed but certain aspects of our play pleased me. There were good things - we passed the ball well, and created chances.

“By the same token, there are a lot of lessons to take away from the game that we need to work on and the players know that.”

After a trip to Annan this Wednesday (check back here at the website for a full report), QP have four games left before the playoffs begin on May 8.

But the boss thinks there is no chance of an end of season malaise creeping in.

He continued: “It will be easy to keep the players focussed until the end of the playoff race because there is so much at stake.

“Our target every year is promotion, that is what we have fought for since the beginning of pre-season so we won’t stop now. 
“What has really helped us this campaign is a strong start. Normally we rely on a surge in the second half of the season.

“The thing about this league is that every game is difficult, but the players have been excellent this year – hopefully the hard work will pay off.”

Following Wednesday’s game, Queen’s Park visit Berwick Rangers on Saturday. Kick off is 3pm.