After being disappointed with not making the play-offs last season, can Queens do it this year? Here is how I view their chances in the Championship this term.
With the loss of 13 players this summer, Gary Naymsith has had a hard task trying to put a competitive and strong enough squad together.
With the additions of Alan Martin, Andy Stirling and Callum Fordyce, he has certainly improved key areas of the squad in quality if not in quantity.
The arrival of Martin will see Lee Robinson take a step back and this is a bold move by Naysmith, in my opinion, bringing in a quality goalkeeper ahead of the player/goalkeeping coach. I think this shows the direction the club want to go in and between the sticks, there has been a marginal improvement over the summer.
In defence, Shaun Rooney has also been brought in and the youngster faces a big season ahead of his maiden Championship campaign. With Scott Mercer able to provide cover on either side of defence and Kyle Jacobs able to slot back a role as well, I feel that this area of the pitch is nearly complete. With Jacobs likely to be played in midfield, I feel that another centre back is something which would improve the overall depth of the squad at Queens ahead of the new season starting.
The centre of midfield is also strong in quality but lacking in numbers. If another central addition can be ma\de then I would say the Doonhamers have a solid base to work with. Danny Carmichael will provide a good threat out wide with Stirling, alongside Connor Murray and Lyndon Dykes.
With Dykes also able to ply his trade up front, the addition of either another winger or a striker – to compliment Stephen Dobbie and Derek Lyle – needs looked at with the player coming into the role less likely to be filled by Dykes.
In conclusion, I would say the Queens squad is not strong enough in terms of depth to challenge for a play-off place this season overall, although the impressive tallies of Lyle and Dobbie alone will be enough to see them survive comfortably in the division. I predict that a solid mid-table finish will be the final placing for Naysmith’s side, unless the Dumfres club can bring in a couple of quality additions to boost the depth in the squad to allow it to compete fully over the course of the campaign.