Queen of the South ‘don’t fear Rangers test’

Queen of the South manager James Fowler is all smiles at training. Picture: SNS
Queen of the South manager James Fowler is all smiles at training. Picture: SNS
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JAMES Fowler insists his Queen of the South side have nothing to fear from Rangers in the first leg of their Scottish Premiership quarter-final play-off on Saturday.

The Palmerston boss is buoyed by two home wins over the Ibrox men in the Championship this season, the 2-0 victory in December followed by a 3-0 triumph last month.

Fowler is further encouraged by two wins and a draw over second-placed Hibernian and the Doonhamers’ overall form on their way to fourth spot in the table.

“We don’t fear anybody and I think we have shown that throughout the season,” said the former Kilmarnock defender.

“Even though Hearts won the four games against us we competed well against them and obviously we have had good results against Hibs and Rangers as well.

“We have shown that we can hurt Rangers, so we are just looking for the same again really.

“We know it is going to be tough. It is a two-legged tie and it is important that we give ourselves a chance going into the second leg.

“The spirit and attitude of the players has been key this season.

“Rangers are still a massive club, they still have international players in their squad.

“We know it is going to be a big ask over the two legs but we have players who can trouble them.”

The Dumfries side will have to play six games if they are to feature in the top flight next season.

Hibs await the winners in the play-off semi-final, with the winners taking on the Scottish Premiership’s second bottom side in the final.

“It is a big task in terms of the games in a short space of time,” said Fowler.

“It is going to be difficult. But we will just look forward to the Rangers tie first and if we get through that we will then deal with Hibs.

“It would be a massive achievement for the staff and players (getting to the Premiership) and it would benefit the club financially.

“It would be us testing ourselves against the best teams in Scotland.

“We have enjoyed the big three in our league this season (Hearts, Hibs, Rangers) and we would have more of that next season.

“It is everyone’s ambition to get there and hopefully if it is not this year, it will be in the future.”

Fowler is fed up talking about the plastic pitch at Palmerston and how it may or not be playing on the minds of the Rangers players.

But he will be happy if it means his side have any sort of advantage.

He said: “I know some players at other clubs don’t like the artificial surfaces either.

“Hopefully it is playing on Rangers’ minds on Saturday.

“If we can take a lead to Ibrox that will give us an advantage but I think a draw would be a decent result.”