FIRED-up Ayr United skipper Ross Docherty admits his team’s 5-0 loss against local rivals Queen of the South almost 12 months ago has still left a bitter taste in the mouth.

And the midfielder is looking to turn the tables on the Doonhamers when they visit Somerset Park on Saturday for an eagerly anticipated derby.

United had a blank Saturday owing to their elimination from the Betfred Cup but are raring to go again.

Docherty said: “We were disappointed to be out of the Betfred Cup and would rather have been playing.

“The training was on as usual - why should we get a reward for being out of the cup. We had Saturday off. “

The skipper was disappointed his team lost their last game at Dundee but said: “It was a good sign that we went up there and were unlucky not to take anything against a team I feel will be up there challenging.”

He is impressed with this season’s squad ahead of the weekend game and said: “Stephen Kelly is popular with the fans and he’s a quality player. We have other good players - Alan Forrest has a lot of pace and Declan McDaid has done really well - he was on loan last season but has come back sharp. Michael Moffat is fast and has goals in him. It’s great to see Jamie Adams fit again. It was disappointing to lose 5-0 at Palmerston early last season.

“But this is a home game and we are looking to win.”

Boss Ian McCall said: “Training is going really well and it’s a home game, let’s get the place rocking and hopefully we can win. We’ve scored eight goals at home so far this year so will be looking to continue our form.” Craig Moore and Frank Ross are carrying knocks.