DUNFERMLINE boss Allan Johnston is targeting a winning return to Queen of the South on his first trip back to his old club this weekend.
The 42-year-old finished his playing career at Palmerston Park and made a dream move into the dugout whilst at the Dumfries club.
It was an impressive switch, leading the Doonhamers to the historic double of the Second Division title and the Challenge Cup in his first season in management.
The success led to Johnston and assistant Sandy Clark moving to Kilmarnock at the end of the campaign, only for that spell to end prematurely 18 months later because of a dispute sparked by Robbie Muirhead’s sale to Dundee United.
Johnston will be back at Queens on Saturday with Dunfermline seeking to protect a four-game unbeaten run after Saturday’s 2-1 win over Morton.
Meanwhile, his old club bidding for a first league win in a remarkable 11 matches stretching back to September.
The former Hearts and Kilmarnock winger said: “It’s my first time back at Queens since I left and it’s a game I’m looking forward to.
“I’ve got a lot of good memories from there, both as a player and as a manager.
“So, it will be good to go back.
“There wasn’t much between the two sides the last time [when Queens won 1-0 in August].
“They’ve shown in the earlier part of the season that they’ve got good players and they’re a real threat up front, so we’ll have to defend well.
“But we’re on a good run just now and hopefully we can continue that and build on last week’s result.”
Meanwhile, Dunfermline will be without former Celtic midfielder John Herron against Queens because of an ankle injury.
The on-loan Blackpool midfielder had to be substituted at half-time in the win over Morton and faces a race to be fit for the derby at home to Falkirk on Boxing Day.
Johnston added: “John’s going to be missing for at least another week.
“It’s just typical that when you’ve had an ankle injury somebody always manages to kick it.
“Somebody landed on him in the first-half and then someone kicked it later on.
“It’s not as bad as we first thought but he’s going to be out for at least another week.”