Winning breeding confidence for Queen of the South’s James Fowler

Having bounced back from a shock defeat to then-bottom club Livingston a fortnight ago, with a victory over Alloa, Queen of the South manager James Fowler is feeling bullish about his side’s new-found confidence.

That victory was a second success in their last four games, after going seven without a win and for Fowler it serves as the perfect springboard to continue on their push for the play-off places.

“The players responded to the loss of the early goal well and did well to come back. It was good to get the three points on the board,” he told Ladbrokes News.

“It’s really good that everyone is chipping in. It gives you massive confidence when you are scoring goals and as a team it gives you belief that you can go on and win games even if you go a goal down, as was the case last week.”

That victory, coupled with Raith’s defeat to Livingston means that Queens are within four points of the top-four, the club’s target this term.

They have done just that in the past two seasons and for Fowler it is now imperative that his team continues to put the pressure on Rovers.

“The gap is bigger than we would have liked it to be at this point in the season so it was important that we got the result last week and we closed that gap.

“It’s important that we fully concentrate on what we’re doing because we don’t want the gap to get too big as our ambition this season is to get into the top four. It’s great that we are closing it now and hopefully it can continue on Saturday,” he told us.

The poor run of form prior to getting back to winning ways might have seen some questioning Fowler’s position but for the man in the dugout it was a challenge that could have faced any team.

“Everything seemed to go positively for us last year and there wasn’t too many low moments, so this term has been a test of character for both the staff and the players.

“We know football isn’t always going to be full of highs. You look at Chelsea, they’ve gone from being champions last season to struggling this year, they’ve just not clicked yet. We knew that would be the case for us with the amount of players that we lost over the summer and having a new squad, with a lot of younger, inexperienced players.

“There was always going to be ups and downs. Personally it’s been a challenge for myself and you sometimes learn a lot about yourself in those tough times.”

Next up for Queens is a tricky fixture against Dumbarton, where the hosts are priced up as 13/20 favourites.

They have only won one of their last eight matches on their own patch in all competitions, something that is unusual for the Dumfries outfit.

But their 35-year-old manager has plenty of positives to take into the match with the Sons, and he’s looking to get some more wins on the board at home.

“Palmerston was a bit of a fortress for us last year we didn’t lose too many games down there and especially in front of your home fans you want to put in a good performance and send them home happy.

“Our performance against Dumbarton away from home was probably our best performance of the season so hopefully we can repeat that on Saturday. It’s going to be a tough ask but I’ve got belief in the players that we’ve got to go and do that.”

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Ben Stones

Ladbrokes News’ equine expert, Ben likes nothing more than studying the form to pick out a winner or two for our readers. A Journalism and Media Studies graduate from the University of Winchester, Ben has previously written for a number of football and racing blogs and websites, as well as contributing to the sports pages of his home-town newspaper.