Falkirk manager hopes the focus is on the football – and a Falkirk win, when the Bairns meet Dunfermline at East End Park tomorrow.
The fiery rivalry has soured in recent meetings with unsavoury incidents both on and off the field generating negative headlines away from the games themselves.
And now McKinnon hopes there’s a positive atmosphere and a positive result for his Falkirk side after they went down 2-0 to the Pars earlier this season.
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He said: “Derbies bring out passion in people and hopefully people focus on the football and it’s a good spectacle for both sets of fans.
“This is a game that I hope we can go out and win. It is as has been said, a derby match and you want to take the high performance levels into the game and that belief to win.
“They’ve got a lot of dangerous players and we know that. They proved it against us last time. They have tidy players high up the park and we’ll be mindful. We need to go and setup the way we’ve set up, play the way we’ve been playing and what will be will be, but we are hopeful it’s a good victory for Falkirk this weekend.”
McKinnon is also well aware the Pars have struggled at home this season. Allan Johnston’s side have registered one win and a draw at East End Park this season.
The Bairns boss added: “We need to take advantage of the fact that if things aren’t going their way there might be a wee bit of nerves. So let’s go and have a full-blooded attack and go for the win.
”You’d like to think the players will be up for a derby match and that those who were maybe not aware what kind of derby match it is, that they’ll realise. They’ve got the message now.
“We need them to play the way they have been in the past two matches and we can be extremely competitive in the game.
“I’ve watched our last game with Dunfermline back – we weren’t great, and they weren’t much better. That really frustrated me because we didn’t really take advantage of that by being more aggressive or competitive.
“This weekend is a completely different game and we need to go there and show what we have been showing in the last two games against Ayr United and Ross County, because I think we’ve deserved four points from those games, rather than just the one.
“But the attitude from the players has been fantastic, the mentality has been very good so we take a lot of confidence into Saturday.”