Queens were pushing for the play-offs but a dismal run of seven defeats in a row, that started with a 3-0 defeat by Falkirk, has left them in the relegation battle.
The run saw Gary Naysmith's side lose six straight league matches and a Scottish Cup tie with Aberdeen.
Stephen Dobbie hadn't scored in any of those six Championship matches, but was back bagging on Saturday as his goal from the spot secured Queens a vital 2-1 victory against Dundee United at Tannadice.
"They went seven losses in a row - but they are better than that," McKinnon said. "With Dobbie and (Lyndon) Dykes they are a good team.
"They will be a real handful and we are expecting a real tough game.
"We have got a few players back from injury and we have only lost one in 11 and three in 17 - so we are in good form. We have got to try to turn our points into victories if we can."
Queen of the South's win at Dundee United means they are two points above Falkirk in the league with a game in hand.
But the Bairns can jump all the way from ninth to sixth - ahead of Greenock Morton - if they win at Palmerston tonight.