Partick Thistle Match Preview

This weekend we take a break from the Championship and welcome Premier League side Partick Thistle to Palmerston in the fourth round of the William Hill Scottish Cup. This year is the 10th anniversary of the memorable season when we reached the final of the competition.

Queens boss Gary Naysmith has been sharing his thoughts ahead of the tie "We go into this game with a mixed bag of results behind us, but that is something that hasn't been a complete surprise to myself given the injuries we have suffered of late.

Our squad just now is full of young players who are just at the start of their careers and they are learning each week about what it takes to be a professional footballer. These players will have ups and downs along the way and we all need to be prepared for that, but I can't speak highly enough of their effort during last weeks game especially after going three nil down. The players kept going, kept pushing forward and we were all delighted to see young Owen Bell get his first goal for the club.  I also have to say that Jack Leighfield had a fine game for us and made some fantastic saves and I was also pleased to get Ross Fergusson and Myles Beerman onto the pitch in the second half.

It's a balancing act for myself at the moment. I don't want to over-use the young players, but until we get some of the seniors players back I hope they will continue to impress when called upon. If you take Alan, John and Stephen out from last week's squad of 17 players, the average age of the remaining 14 players was just over 20 which is probably the youngest squad that Queen of the south have ever fielded for a league match.

Finishing in the promotion play-off places is still very much our aim for this season, but everyone loves the Scottish Cup. Partick will be favourites to win the game but Palmerston is a tough place to visit and we will be trying our hardest to make it difficult for them.  They come to Dumfries, fresh off the back of their winter break and the sunshine of Marbella but we hope to use the fact that they haven't played for three weeks to our own advantage.

For us preparations haven't been ideal, the winter weather has disrupted training this week. The poor road conditions made it to dangerous for some players to physically get in while those who did make it have spent much of the week training indoors.  But we have prepared as best we can and hopefully we will pull off a result. 

Jason Kerr and Chris Kane have now returned to St Johnstone. The two lads were outstanding for us and although we are sorry to lose them both, they go back to Perth with our very best wishes. I know they've enjoyed being with us and Tommy Wright knows that we have looked after them well and helped with their development.

We are also still missing key players through injury, but on a positive note, each week is a week closer to us getting them back. Kyle Cameron joined us from Newcastle United this week and goes straight into the squad.

Partick Thistle will clearly be a stern test for our young squad but it's one we're looking forward to and I know that you'll be right behind the lads from the very first whistle. I am looking forward to a good old-fashioned cup-tie atmosphere!"

We are expecting a larger crowd than normal for the tie, so supporters are urged to give themselves plenty of time. Although home fans will have the opportunity to purchase tickets until kick off, there will be NO on the day ticket sales for visiting fans. All away support must buy a ticket in advance from Firhill.

Kick off at Palmerston is 3pm.