Queen of the South head to Hibs today with their manager James Fowler recognising that a third game undefeated at Easter Road will be hard to achieve thanks to the ability of Scott Allan and the availability of John McGinn.
The Doonhamers left the capital last season with a 0-0 draw and a 1-0 win, with Fowler reckoning that keeping out Alan Stubbs’ side this time will be a more difficult task despite Allan heading for Celtic in August.
Fowler explained: “Hibs are an improved team this season and the key to that was the Scott Allan deal. Scott is a terrific player however selling him to Celtic has allowed Alan Stubbs to strengthen his squad.
“They have been on a really good unbeaten run and are going for promotion. We know that it is a big ask to win but that is what we are looking to do.”
Fowler thought earlier in the week that the task facing his side would be slightly easier as John McGinn would be missing after being dismissed against Falkirk last Saturday, but the SFA have downgraded the red card to a yellow one and the midfielder is free to play.
Fowler said: “John has been the player of the season in the Championship for me. I would have been quite glad if he had been suspended for this game. We will just need to keep him quiet.”
The Palmerston manager knows what his side are required to do if they are to end Hibs’ 16-game. “We have to go there with the belief that if we put in a 90-minute performance then we have a chance,” Fowler explained.
“Hibs have a strong squad and even giving them ten-15 minutes of domination could hurt, let alone the 30 minutes we gave Falkirk and the 45 we gave Raith Rovers in our last two games.
“We were able to get back into those games but we might not be able to do that at Easter Road so we need to play the whole game to have any chance. We did well there last season, however both squads have changed quite a bit since then and the level of difficulty has gone up.”
Queens’ hopes have been hindered by the exclusion of on-loan Hibs winger Alex Harris, with Fowler adding: “Alex has been the best player in our last two games so that is a shame for us and for him that he is missing out.”