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Dumfries side left short on players but not positivity

Jim McIntyre has urged his Queen of the South side to "embrace" their first visit to Ibrox this season.

This is the simple of instruction of a football manager who does not wish his players to appear daunted by the challenge which awaits them, a request to avoid treating an apparently more illustrious team with too much respect.

It is possible that McIntyre will ask his players to walk through the front door at Ibrox this afternoon and then decline to wipe their feet.

There are unlikely to be too many muddy footprints leading into the visiting dressing room, of course, since there are seven players missing from Queens' squad. That is likely to cause as much anxiety among their supporters as a share issue does at Ibrox, with Chris Mitchell, Mark Kerr, Stephen McKenna, Paul Burns, Michael Paton and Ian McShane all injured. James Fowler - a central midfielder and the club's assistant manager - is also suspended.

McIntyre has filled the gaps in his squad with optimism this week and hopes that his players will prove their resolve by maintaining an unbeaten start to the SPFL Championship campaign. "This time last week I knew we would be five down and that obviously went up to six when James was sent off," said McIntyre.

"To then lose Ian is a real blow and that means not only are we missing seven players - four of them can play in the centre of midfield. We just have to go to Ibrox without them and other players now have the chance to shine in a big game."

The audiences have diminished inside Ibrox this season as erstwhile season-ticket holders stay away in a protest against the board, but it remains a stage for players in the Championship. Queens stole the show in a Ramsdens Cup tie there two years ago - there was a goal in the last minute of normal time and then a tiumphant penalty shootout - and McIntyre is eager for his players to emulate that famous victory.

"We have several boys that won at Rangers in the Ramsdens Cup a couple of years ago and it is good to have that experience in the team," he added. "There was a big crowd at that game, it was a big occasion and they did fantastically well to win that night.

"For the ones that have not played there before it is a great opportunity to test themselves against players who have played at the highest level in Scotland and internationally. My message to the players will be not to fear the game but to embrace it."

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