Queen of the South: James Fowler aims to keep local talent

Danny Carmichael
Danny Carmichael has been attracting attention from other clubs

Queen of the South manager James Fowler intends to try and fight off interest in key players as the Doonhamers seek a place in the top flight.

St Johnstone were one Premiership club represented in the Indodrill stands during Queens' 2-2 draw with Alloa.

Young Dumfries-born talent like Gavin Reilly, Kevin Holt and Danny Carmichael appear to be attracting attention.

"We're trying to build something here so we need to try and keep our best players," Fowler told BBC Scotland.

"Obviously there's going to be interest with the season that we've had' and the way the players have played; we expect it.

"Hopefully it's this season, but if not then over the next season or two we can get promotion."

Left-back Holt, 22, has been more than steady this season and scored a memorable free-kick against Rangers in December.

Striker Reilly, 21, is on 14 goals for the campaign and trails only Derek Lyle (19) in the Queen of the South scoring charts this season.

Winger Carmichael, 24, impressed by setting up both goals during the draw in Clackmannanshire that prevented Queens securing a play-spot.

The fourth-placed Doonhamers are five points clear of Falkirk, with six points still up for grabs.

"Obviously we're disappointed that we had the opportunity to do that and we didn't, but it takes us a point closer to where we need to be," added Fowler.

"We've got a decent enough home record so we'll be looking to do that (against Dumbarton). We don't want to have to rely on anyone else.

"Falkirk have obviously had a good result (reaching the Scottish Cup final) and will take confidence from that going into the last couple of games, so it's important we take care of our business."

The visitors suffered a blow late in the second half when goalscorer Mark Millar was dismissed for a head-butt on Alloa's Michael Doyle, which Fowler might appeal.

"I don't think he's actually head-butted him," said Fowler.

"I think it's a coming together and when you put your face close to somebody you give the referee a decision to make."

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