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I’m playing on!

Queen of the South gaffer Wullie Gibson will feature on the pitch again this season

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By Zac Hannay
Dumfries and West
I'm playing on!

QUEENS boss Wullie Gibson has revealed he is not hanging up the boots just yet although he will take a ‘side step’ as the club began their pre-season training this week. With a number of signings through the Palmerston door already, including some familiar faces, the manager is wasting no time assembling his squad while he also continues to keep in shape as a player.

Gibson said: “I’m the manager of the football club, I want to concentrate on that. I’ve brought in Grant Murray as assistant because I still feel I can contribute on the pitch as well, but to a lesser extent.

“I don’t want it to be about me to be honest. If I’m needed I’ll play, if I feel I can do a job I’ll play, if there’s an injury or suspension I’ll play and if I play well I’ll play.

“That competitiveness doesn’t leave you. I’ve had long chats with other managers and pros I’ve worked with who hung up the boots and they told me to play as long as you can.

“That’s why I’m not making any statements but I’m not retiring. I’m maybe just taking a side step rather than a step out.

“But I’m building a squad and there’s a bigger picture. I’m not the future of this club, the younger boys are.”

After a hectic couple of months at the Palmy helm, Gibson said on Tuesday: “I’m enjoying it. I’ve settled in really well and I’ve gone about my business quite early trying to get players in.

“When you say about how busy I’ve been, there’s been no down time whatsoever. You just need to ask my wife that. She’s not happy I’ve not had a day off.

“I’ve been on the phone constantly, meeting players, but I’ve been enjoying it. “I’d like to be sitting here with a full squad ready to go but I’ve still got wee bits to do.”

It has been another busy week in the transfer market for the Doonhamers with the re-signings of Euan East, Lee Connelly and Connor Murray, plus the arrival of striker Michael Ruth. Gibson admits he’s delighted to get the four on board as the Dumfries club looks to bounce back to the Championship at the first time of asking. He added: “We need wide players for the way we want to play, which is why Connor is back. “He’s fit and raring to go so hopefully he’ll create plenty of chances. “We all know what Lee has in his locker on the pitch. He can produce a moment of magic out of nothing and that sort of invention will be vital next season. “I’m really pleased to get ‘Easty’ back on board. It looked for a while that he might be moving on and I know he had offers from clubs in higher leagues but we’ve managed to get an agreement over the line. He can play in a number of positions and his versatility is a real asset.” Gibson says he wants to run with a squad of about 18 or 19 players. He added: “I’m still looking for another striker despite bringing in Michael Ruth. “We’ll need one defender and wide players for the way we want to play. If we can top up in the midfield area as well and add a goalkeeper. “You can see what we’re trying to do. Hopefully by the time the cup games come around you can see we’re in a better position than we were last year.” Gibson also hopes to announce a new “well-known” goalkeeper coach in the coming days. The club will also have a sports scientist this season on a part time basis.

Queens’ boss Wullie Gibson during pre-season training at Palmerston

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