GREENOCK Wanderers make the short trip up to Dumbreck Road in the south side of Glasgow tomorrow where they will look to continue their recent improved form in the BT National League Second Division against old rivals Cartha Queens Park.

The Glasgow side narrowly missed out on promotion in each of the last two seasons — but their form this term has been disappointing.

Coached by renowned former Glasgow District pairing Gary Grant and Alex Donaghey, Cartha were most commentators’ tips to win the title this season but the close-season exodus of several players to other Glasgow clubs severely impacted on their playing strength and by extension dented their chances of success.

At present the southsiders are sitting in eighth place in the table, only one slot ahead of Wanderers, and have won seven and drawn one of their 16 matches in what is seen as a below-par return by their own high standards.

In the earlier fixture at Fort Matilda in November Wanderers almost took the spoils but were eventually edged out 19-17.

From Wanderers’ perspective the season has been successful as they have avoided the dreaded drop and can now focus on developing their squad ahead of a fresh campaign which will start in September.

At present there is no news, either factual or rumoured, of any transfer activity either in or out of the club, so coaching team Graham Knox and Ally Hunter can focus on the players they have at their disposal and use the final few games of this season to experiment with personnel, while at the same time doing their utmost to win and build confidence and self-belief.

Next season promises to be even harder than this term and a massive effort will be required by all at Fort Matilda to mount a credible challenge.

In terms of personnel, the quality of player is there to mould together a strong pack and a fluent backline and it will be interesting to see how Knox and Hunter approach the final few games of the season and whether any clues emerge as to who is likely to feature in next term’s line-up.

Tomorrow is of course another tough game and under normal circumstances Wanderers would travel more in hope than expectation to Pollok Country Park but there is a new-found spirit and character about this current side and they undoubtedly have a real chance to take Cartha’s scalp in what promises to be a typically dour and hard battle.

The likelihood of victory will depend on the forwards gaining sufficient control up front.

The recent inclusion of bulky prop forward Liam Campbell has steadied the Wanderers scrummage and with skipper Murray McDonald, Matt Gray, Ally Abernethy and Andy Love all proven ball winners in the lineout then there should be a plentiful supply of possession for the back division to work with.

Centre three-quarter pairing Michael Frizzel and Frazer Reid looked strong in defence and potent in attack last week and if they can replicate that form then they will certainly ask questions of the home defence.

Gregor Fletcher and Chris McCarron also impressed with some strong and elusive running and accompanied by stand-in full-back Craig Davies there is undoubtedly abundant try-scoring ability throughout the current Wanderers back division.

The key to success tomorrow will be the confidence and self-belief that only comes with winning games and playing well.

Wanderers have posted good back-to-back displays in their last two outings and although they lost narrowly at Kirkcaldy they finally recorded their fourth win of the campaign last Saturday against Haddington.

Cartha on the other hand were well beaten last weekend at Aberdeenshire, which may well give Wanderers the psychological edge tomorrow.

The locals though would be foolhardy to think that their hosts will simply roll over — and uppermost in Cartha’s thoughts will be to demonstrate some bouncebackability and their main motivation will be pride.

Wily campaigner Donald Stone remains in the squad and he is joined by another star from previous Wanderers teams, Grahame Mooney.

Mooney, like Stone, is a superb break-away forward and is another who is more used to winning than losing in a black, gold and red shirt and he will bring his positive attitude to the dressing room. A late selection will determine the starting line-up but with Mooney added to the squad and with the likely comeback of Kenny Diffenthal, right inset, and Dougie Smith on the cards then the locals should travel with confidence and back themselves to win the game.

President John McDougall said: “We want to keep our recent run of good form going and a game at Cartha is exactly what we need to test ourselves against a team in the middle tier of the table.” Wanderers’ second string travel to Millbrae to play West of Scotland in a league match with a 3pm kick-off.

l Wanderers are sponsored by Texas Instruments.