Queen to visit Inverness
No, not Elizabeth, nor Freddie Mercury, but Queen of the South are the visitors on Saturday to our new look stadium with the old portacabin gone and a shiny new shop installed within the walls.
No tears were shed as the old temporary shop come ticket office was forcibly removed from the premises, many years after being installed. In it's place we now have a brand spanking new ticket office shop front to greet the fans as they approach the stadium. That's the good news. Unfortunately we still have the same old problems on the park with Robbo getting torn into his struggling side as we languish perilously close to the foot of the table.
Another tough game ahead as we try to battle our way out of the slump. Gary Naysmith has a decent squad at his disposal. Notably former Inverness player John Rankin who captains the side. They also have something that we need, proven goal scorers like Stephen Dobbie, Derek Lyle and the latest addition of James McFadden the former Scotland international and scorer of that goal against France.
Last time out we suffered another defeat with a second half slump away to Dumbarton. Connor Bell had given us an early lead but the Sons hit back with two second half goals to deservedly take all three points. That performance prompted Robbo to berate his half hearted performers in a frank interview after the game. Some like it out in the open, many fans would rather this was done behind closed doors. Whichever way you like it, the message was quite clear. Get your finger out or things will get worse.
Queens went down for the second successive game, losing 3-1 at Paisley having lost out to Morton in their previous game. They sit only two places above Inverness in sixth place, but are six points better off than us with ten points. Three defeats in a row for Inverness and we find ourselves looking over our shoulders with only Falkirk and Brechin City below us. That's the statistic that hastened the departure of Peter Houston from Falkirk. I don't expect they will be at the bottom end for too long, so it's up to us to put a run of results together to climb the table. Not easy with visits to Falkirk and Dundee United coming up in the next two games.
Gary Warren sits this one out after his sending off last week, the result of two yellow cards. It looks likely that we will be along similar lines to the one that played at Dumbarton. That's not going to help our shambolic defence. Owain Fon Williams played in goal last week and if he is not injured then he should start again. Difficult to predict who the back four will be as we have a different one every week and so far nothing has worked. David Raven missed out against the Sons with a virus allegedly. Midfield seems to be our most settled area but up front is a major concern with only Connor Bell getting pass marks although he appears to run out of steam around the hour mark. We still have long term injuries for Aaron Dorran, Zak Elbouzedi and Collin Seedorf.
Gary Naysmith could be without winger Dan Carmichael who is reported to be struggling for fitness. Otherwise they will be pretty much unchanged from this side that went to Paisley last week. Martin (GK), Fordyce, Brownlie (Tapping 63), Kerr, Marshall, Rooney, Rankin Jacobs, Dykes (Kane 63), Dobbie, Lyle (McFadden 73)
tm4tj prediction:- Defeat will be a disastrous result as we can not afford to lose more ground on the teams above us. With the bottom pair within two points of us, defeat could plant us firmly at the foot of the table, a position that on the evidence so far would be richly deserved. To be honest, I fear another difficult day and a draw would be a good result, but I'm not sure we are capable of that at the moment.
With Queens fans elsewhere on social media bemoaning their comedy defending, this could be a classic encounter of two error strewn sides. Keeper Alan Martin coming in for plenty of criticism with young Jack Leighfield being touted as a suitable replacement for the butterfingered goalie. It all sounds rather familiar I have to say. Here's hoping we can eliminate the schoolboy defending or it will be a case of jumpers for goal posts and three corners a penalty for some.