Owen Coyle has been in this game long enough to know how much words matter.

So, it feels fair to assert the Queen’s Park manager chose his very deliberately as judgement day in the Championship arrives. The Spiders are one win away from a third consecutive promotion and a place in the top-flight for the first time since 1958.

Their visitors Dundee, meanwhile, need only avoid defeat to be crowned champions. And while Coyle believes Gary Bowyer’s team have been ‘terrific’ this season, he opted to point out that their away record has been patchy; that, financially, he believes going up is a ‘need’, not a want, at Dens Park; and also that Queen’s have won more games than any other team in the division. Those wouldn't be mind games, would they?

Whether that carefully planted seed of doubt takes root with Dundee remains to be seen but, either way, we could be in for a rollercoaster evening at Ochilview.

“We are where we are on merit because we’ve been a very good team this year,” Coyle insisted. “We had a wee dip a few weeks ago, like most teams, but we bounced back by beating Hamilton and getting a tough point at Ayr, which sets us up for this all or nothing on Friday.

“Obviously, whoever doesn’t get the result drops into the play-off, but we’re not thinking about that. We are at home - our home from home - against a team that have won one game away from home since December.

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“Dundee have been terrific but their best form has been at home. Away from home, not so much. We’ve played them at Stenhousemuir in a 2-2 draw we should have won, so we know when we’re at our best we can win these games.

“We’ve won more games than anybody in the league. We are more suited to having to win the game. We have the least draws in the league, obviously there are some losses but that’s because we’ve been trying to win games - and that’s what we have to do on Friday.

“So, has it come too soon? Not for me.

“There’s a lot to be excited about and we just have to make sure we give the best version of ourselves. It will be a very attacking team that goes out there to try to win that game, that’s for sure.”

Having finished 27 points behind Cove Rangers in League One last season only to go up through the play-offs, these Queen’s Park players have surprised even their manager this season. Much has been said about the club’s spending – most of which Coyle insists is on facilities and the academy – but it is Dundee who have the league’s biggest budget.

And Coyle says that puts the onus on them to return to the Premiership as quickly as possible.

“Financially, I’d think Dundee need to go up,” he said. “They have a Premiership budget in the Championship and it dwarfs everybody else in the league by three or four times.

“When you look at their squad and players, a lot of people would have thought they’d have the league wrapped up by January.

“They have tremendous players with Premiership pedigree but because of the competitive nature of the Championship, they’ve not been able to do that.

“People thought we’d be at the wrong end of the table but I always felt we would be competitive, although I couldn’t have told you we’d be going for the league in the last game of the season.

“I think the nerves might have got to some of our boys a few weeks ago but that has abated and now it’s there to go and win.

“We want to get there and to do that we have to beat the team that is sitting there at the moment.”

As Scotland’s oldest club, and one which played a crucial role in shaping the sport as we know it, Queen’s Park are used to their history being afforded far more attention than their present. But Coyle has urged his young squad to grasp the chance to write a new chapter.

“I think that is important,” he said. “Look back at the history of the club and the influence Queen’s Park had on the history of the game and of course it’s a fabled story. 

“But any group of players who come in want to write their own chapter.  What we haven’t done is changed the core values of Queen’s Park. We want to enhance those and make that better. 

“Bringing young players coming through and everything else that comes with it. So that won’t change. 

“But while it’s nice to read about the history of the club and everything we did in the past we have a chance to get a third promotion back to back against good opponents.  That’s a great opportunity and one we look to grasp with both hands.”

And whether it’s this year, the next, or somewhere a little further down the line, there’s nothing that can convince Coyle that Queen’s will not be a top-flight club again. He knows there is little chance they can tempt punters away from Celtic Park or Ibrox any time soon, but the former Burnley and Bolton manager sees a place in the modern Premiership for a club which only made the decision to turn professional in 2019.

“In time, Queen’s Park will [be a Premiership club],” he insisted. “I’m not saying it’ll be next year or the year after but going forward that’s the plan. I think we have the right people in place for it to come to fruition.

“There’ll be challenges along the way but it’s capable of happening. In the catchment area we’re in we have our fanbase and while we’re never going to entice anyone away from Rangers or Celtic, what I’d say is we can be your second-favourite team.

“I’ve been there before at different clubs and I think we’re doing things the right way, I think football people will look at it and say, ‘I like what they’re trying to do.’ In football there’s always envy when someone spends money but we’re spending money on youth.

“Surely as football-lovers we’re all wanting to see young Scottish talent coming through. That’s what we’re trying to do – bring them through, nurture them, give them a development plan.”