Villain to hero against Dunfermline, Gary MacKenzie convinced St Mirren can pull off relegation turnaround



GARY MacKenzie went from villain to hero at the weekend and still believes St Mirren can produce their own turn around to wriggle away from relegation.

The former Dundee and MK Dons defender was guilty of bundling over Michael Moffat to gift Dunfermline the chance to take the lead with Kallum Higginbotham’s 37th-minute penalty.

But the 31-year-old nodded in the Buddies’ equaliser a minute into the second-half and claims he could have had a hat-trick after also hitting the post with a first-half header as the Pars struggled to cope with his physical presence at set-pieces.

(Pic: Jonesy702)

It was a hard-earned 1-1 draw for the Paisley side, who remain seven points adrift of Ayr United at the foot of the Championship but retain belief they can get themselves off bottom spot.

With manager Jack Ross critical after the previous week’s 3-0 defeat to Queen of the South, he said: “It’s a good point away from home after going a goal behind.

“It was a test of character after last week when we were really poor, so I think in the second half we showed we’ve got a bit about us.

“We took the game to them, got a goal and it could have gone either way.

“We came out second half and had a proper go, I don’t think anyone left anything in the tank. We gave everything we could pushing for the win but we’ll take the point, it’s not a bad result.

“We said a couple of weeks ago, after getting back-to-back wins, that could be the turning point, but then we were unlucky against Ayr when we felt we should have won and that slowed the wheels again.

“But the manager has freshened up the squad, brought in some decent players and there’s still loads of games to go.

“So to come here and get a point against a good team is positive.

“After the disappointment of last week there are encouraging signs that we are there to fight and when asked questions we can stand up and answer them.”