Marvin Bartley previews Kelty Hearts as Queen of the South boss targets three matches unbeaten

ITV Border's Jack Currie caught up with the Queen of the South manager ahead of their match this weekend.

Queen of the South manager Marvin Bartley is targeting three games unbeaten for his side as they prepare to host Kelty Hearts on Saturday.

The Doonhamers are two unbeaten following their 2-0 away victory against Alloa Athletic and a 0-0 draw, also away from home, against Hamilton Academical.

It is the first time this season that Bartley's side have recorded back to back clean sheets, something that the manager labelled as a "massive positive."

Speaking to ITV Border, Bartley said: "I would be delighted if it was six points. In terms of the clean sheet, definitely, it is a massive positive.

"It is something the boys have been working extremely hard at in training, through videos and physically out on the pitch.

Marvin Bartley was pleased with his sides performance in their last game against Hamilton Academical. Credit: ITV

"I am happy for the whole team, it is not just the defenders, it is the whole team that defends from the front.

"It is about maintaining that and trying to maintain that standard.

"You are not going to keep a clean sheet in every game but it is about defending for your life when the ball does come in the box and having clear and cool heads."

When asked if he felt as though a few more clean sheets this campaign would have elevated his side closer to the play-off positions, Bartley said: "It would wouldn’t it, regardless of whether that was an extra one or three points in other games.

"It is one of those things they say that Championship winning teams have got good defences and good defences give you clean sheets.

"It is definitely something you want to maintain and it is definitely something we want to work hard at.

"The defensive side of the game has been really good and that is all players it is not just about defenders but the more clean sheets the merrier.

"In these remaining games we will be aiming to go out in every single one, as we have throughout the whole season, to try and get that.

"The confidence from having two in a row will definitely help the players."

The draw Queen of the South earned away to Hamilton Academical stopped the run of losses Bartley's side have had against the Lanarkshire side this season.

Reflecting on the result, Bartley said: "It is definitely a good point. You go to the team who are sitting second in the table, who knew they had to win to keep their slim chances of winning the league alive, so we knew they were going to throw everything at us.

"So to come away from there, considering the result last time was 5-0, there will be a type of psychological scarring, I know that because I have been there as a player.

"I felt as though the players dealt with it fantastically well, they grew in confidence as the game went on and we came up with a game plan and the boys executed it.

"Was it 100% executed? No, because the aim is always to win games of football.

"From a defensive side of things the team was fantastic when they didn’t have the ball."

Queen of the South have not won any of their games against Kelty Hearts this season.

Despite that, the performance his side put in earlier this season against Kelty Hearts has stuck with Bartley.

He said: "Last time we played them it ended in a 3-1 defeat but there was also the best 44 minutes I have had at this football club.

"That was in terms of how we controlled the game and went about our business.

"We conceded a goal right at the end of the first half and you go in at half time and give a team talk.

"I said listen, if you can replicate that first 44 minutes in the second half then you will win this game of football, but we then concede two goals in quick succession and lose the game 3-1. We owe ourselves one, definitely.

Queen of the South have back to back home games against Kelty Hearts and Edinburgh City. Credit: PA

"We know they are a good team, we know what they are about, it will be the fourth time we have faced them this season.

"We need to go out there and perform and if we do that I have full faith we can win this game of football."

With the end of the season quickly approaching, Bartley's side will be looking to end the campaign on a high.

When asked if a strong end to this season could lead to a strong start to the next, Bartley said: "Winning games of football breed confidence, but obviously you have the summer break in-between.

"Winning games of football definitely does do that and it makes everyone happy.

"Everyone’s summer will be a lot better the more games you win, everyone’s weekends are better the more games you win.

"We need to go and actually do that because the flip side is if you don’t do that then you don’t go into the summer too happy or too confident.

"Confidence is a strange one for me. Having played the game myself, every 90 minutes is a different 90 minutes, every minute is a different minute.

"You might make an awful mistake and give the ball away one minute and then score a top corner goal the next.

"In terms of that it is about dealing with the here and now. It is a boring answer because in football you are going to make mistakes but I am about reaction.

"You get your confidence from reacting well and if you are not playing your best, it is about working as hard as you possibly can - give me 100% that is all I ask.

"We need to go out there tomorrow, play well and win the game of football, it is that simple.”

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