Wed 24 July, 2019. Kick Off: - 19:45
The Energy Check Stadium at Firhill
Adults – £12
Concessions* – £6
*A concession is qualified as a person under 18, over 65 or a student with a valid matriculation card.
Wednesday night sees Thistle take on Clyde in the Jags’ final 2019 Betfred Cup Group Stage fixture. Thistle know that a win will guarantee them top spot in the group but Gary Caldwell is adamant that there is absolutely no room for complacency.
The Thistle boss has been pleased with the overall progression of his side so far but knows there is still plenty of hard work to come, a point he made very clear when he spoke exclusively to ptfc.co.uk ahead of the match.
Caldwell said: “We’ve seen good progress every game in terms of performance and we have added something new to that overall team effort every time we’ve played. It’s vital that no complacency slips in though, anything but a win today could well see us fail to qualify so from our point of view all of our focus will be on making sure we get the job done.
“It certainly won’t be easy. We have seen how Airdrieonians performed and how difficult Queen’s park made it for us. Clyde will be no different so we have to be fully focused, well prepared and ready to win the game.
“We have found every game we’ve played so far has been a real challenge. The lower league teams are very fit considering they don’t train full time and every game they have posed real problems for us. Again, we expect Clyde to be no different so we’ll have to be at our best to take the three points and win the group.”
Caldwell has made no secret of the fact that he is using the first round of the Betfred Cup competition as a period of pre-season preparation for the beginning of the Ladbrokes Championship campaign. That being said, results so far have been pleasing for the manager.
“We spoke with the players yesterday and I think that the pleasing thing for us is that we are winning games and we still have areas to work on. We have a group of players who are open to how we want to play and we know if we can keep that all together we will continue to improve right the way through the season.
“The players are working really hard and are constantly striving to improve, constantly striving to get that perfect game. To find ourselves in the position we are in and still have that drive to improve and better ourselves can only be a good thing.
“When we go into any competition we want to win it and that has been our mindset from day one of pre-season. If we can win this group it will be a really positive start to the league campaign and we’ll be able to start that in a real positive state of mind.”
As the transfer window continues to progress, Caldwell gave an update on where Thistle are in terms of recruitment and also talked through the all important team news.
“We’re still working to bring another few bodies in and we will keep working right until the end of August. Nothing is particularly close at the moment but we’re looking at players all the time and working to identify those individuals who would benefit our squad and make us a better team.”
“Everyone is fully fit which is great. Harkins had his ankle operation and will now be in a boot for a few weeks. We’ll keep monitoring him on a daily basis and he’ll work closely with the physios right through the process. Craig Slater has started running which has been great to see but he’s still a bit longer term for now. Getting out onto the grass has obviously given him a massive boost though and he’ll be like a new signing when we do get him back.”
A more in-depth video interview with Thistle manager, Gary Caldwell, is available to watch on JagZone now as well interviews with Stuart Bannigan and Alex Jones.
Jagzone members will also be able to watch extended highlights of the game.
Can’t make it to the Energy Check Stadium at Firhill? Jagzone members can listen to live audio commentary of the match. JagZoneLIVE begins at 19:30 tomorrow.
For a full list of all the great content you can access from just £5.99 per month as a Jagzone member, click here.
Article Copyright © 2019. Permission to use quotations from this article online is only granted subject to appropriate source credit and hyperlink to ptfc.co.uk.
Thistle's 3-2 win means they are confirmed winners of Group F of the Betfred Cup and have secured a spot in the last 16 of the competition.
It was a deserveds win but they didn't half makee things hard for themselves.
Shea Gordon's 11th minute opener was cancelled out after 25 minutes but sub Kenny Miller restored the Thistle lead early in the second half.
Another Miller header looked to have crossed the line only for play to continue but Shea Gordon's second goal, capping an excellent move, had Thistle cruising at 3-1 up.
A crazy own goal though hauled Clyde back into the game and there were some anxious moments before the points were secured.
Thistle Man of the Match: Stuart Bannigan
Fox comes off his line to claim a croiss from the right hand side.
Saunders heads the corner clear.
Williamson powers down the right. His cross deflects off a defender which takes the ball away from Jones allowing Mitchell to gather.
A cross comes over from the right that Williamson doesn't clear giving Smith a half chance that he doesn't take sending his header over the bar.
Smith's cross is cleared by Robson but Clyde have a throw in line with the penalty box.
Cuddihy's shot is blocked taking the pace off the ball allowing Fox to make an easy save.
Mitchell makes a good stop to push away De Vita's low shot. Williamson gathers the loose ball but his cross is headed clear.
Thistle were cruising this game but one crazy moment and the game is back in the balance and Clyde aren't too far away from being level again as Johnston's shot is just wide of Fox's right hand post.
It's a crazy goal as Stuart Bannigan's pass back evades Fox and ends up in the net.
That's a super team goal from Thistle. Cardle threads through a great ball for Williamson whose cross across the face of goal is met by Gordon who fires home. Thistle with a bit of breathing space now.
Cardle's corner is cleared and Clyde try to break but De Vita is on hand to prevent Clyde from advancing towards the Thistle goal.
Thistle break quickly. Robson finds Miller but Miller can't find Cardle with his pass and the move breaks down.
Cardle shoots from the right hand corner of the Clyde box but his shot is always drifting away from goal.
A cross from the Clyde right nearly drops over Fox's head and into the net. It's been a strange few minutes.
And that looked like a third goal for Thistle and a second for Miller. Williamson delivers this time and Miller's header at the back post looks to cross the line but play continues. Another Firhill phantom goal?
Kenny Miller nets his first Firhill goal as a Jag as he heads home Cardle's free kick.
Robson is fpuled close to left hand corner of the Clyde box.
Williamson passes to Gordon whose left foot shot doesn't cause Mitchell too many problems.
Thistle have made a change at the interval with Miller coming on for Palmer.
The opening 45 minutes have been played at a good tempo and there has been no lack of incident.
Thistle opened the scoring when Gordon headed him a Mansell cross after 11 minutes and for a spell it looked as if more Thistle goals might follow.
A spirited Clyde side though weren't without a threat of their own and they levelled after 25 minutes when neglegent defending at corner gave Wallace the space to find the net with a header.
Gordon shot over the bar and De Vita forced Mitchell into a good save as Thistle looked to regain their lead but Clyde have at times caused not a little anxiety in the Thistle rearguard.
Robson's corner is cleared.
Mitchell makes a good stop to deny De Vita a goal right on half time.
Goodwillie cuts the ball back to Johnston whose cross is cleared.
Robson gets into a really good position wide on the left but his cross is poor and Mitchell gathers easily.
Play is stopped for Palmer to receive some treatment.
A Cardle cross is far too close to Mitchell who makes an easy catch under no pressure.
Cardle lays the ball into the path of Gordon just to his right hand side. Gordon though is leaning back as he shoots at the ball goes over the crossbar.
A Cardle shot hits a defender and when the ball heads in the direction of Robson the flag goes up for offside.
Cardle takes a step to his right to find space for a shot from 25 yards out but his effort is both high and wide.
The corner is knocked to Robson at the corner of the box but he gets his delivery all wrong and the ball goes out for a goal kick.
Gordon has the ball in the net for Thistle but the whistle had already sounded for a McGinty foul on Mitchell.
Thistle are unconvincing again as the corner comes over but eventually get the ball clear.
Wallace finds far too much space at the corner and his low header beats Fox.
Cardle gets clear down the right before sending over a low cross. De Vita is able to collect it but a heavy touch takes the ball out of play for a goal kick.
Saunders robs Goodwillie of the ball as the Clyde player tried to move towards the Thistle goal.
Cardle is fouled as he attempts to get clear of a defender and Thistle have a free kick on the right hand side.
Thistle take a 11th minute lead and just like Hamilton on Saturday it is a Mansell/Gordon combination. Mansell is the provider with a cross that Gordon heads powerfully into the back of the net.
McGinty sprays a great ball out wide to Cardle on the right. Cardle fires over a cross that a diving Gordon just fails to connect with.
Palmer again shoots and again the ball is blocked by a defender.
A Palmer shot is blocked by a defender.
And Thistle come close from the corner too with Gordon ehading over the bar.
And De Vita nearly nets an early goal as Mitchell makes a good stop after De Vitta connects with a Williamson cross.
There was a late change to the Thistle starting eleven with Raffa De Vita repacing James Penrice.
Cuddihy tests Fox at his left hand post with a well struck shot from 20 yards out.
A good challenge from Williamson halts Wallace's progress towards the Thistle goal.
There is a very late change to the Thistle starting eleven with Raffa De Vita replacing James Penrice.
Clyde kick the game off and immediately knock the ball out of play. Thistle are attacking the city end in the first half.
Thistle round off their Betfred Cup sectional matches knowing that three points tonight against Clyde will secure top spot in Group F and a place in the last 16 of the competition.
Gary Caldwell makes two changes from the side that started at Hamilton on Saturday.
Into the side cone Lewis Mansell and Steven Saunders.
Kenny Miller drops to the bench tonight while Tam O'Ware sits the game out this evening.
The Betfred Cup group stages came to a close for Partick Thistle as they took on Clyde at the Energy Check Stadium at Firhill. The Jags knew that victory would secure their place in the draw for the last 16 and that is what they got. Two goals from Shea Gordon either side of a Kenny Miller header were enough to see the Maryhill men to the win despite a Tony Wallace header and Stuart Bannigan’s own goal keeping things tight. Thistle will now definitely top Group F regardless of games still to be played and Jags boss, Gary Caldwell, spoke to ptfc.co.uk after his side’s triumph:
“Some of our play was superb tonight but we decided to make it more difficult than it had to be. First half, they didn’t really have a kick and we gift them a goal from the corner which is disappointing. In the second half, I thought we upped it for 20 minutes and we looked like we were turning the screw but again we gift them a route back into the game.
“For us, the main focus is being ready for the first league game of the season and we’ve seen things over these group games that we still need to work on and we will ahead of the game at Alloa. However, we’re through to the next round which is what we were aiming for at the start of the group so we’re pleased with that.”
Gary then went into a bit more detail on the second Clyde goal which saw Stuart Bannigan net an own goal to make the game 3-2.
“It was a mistake which we have to learn from. We’re still far off being the finished article but there have been signs of improvement in each of our games which is why making these mistakes now is better than doing it in the third or fourth league game of the season.”
Caldwell complimented the application of his team, who he felt gave everything they could over the 90 minutes to secure the all-important victory.
“Everyone was pushing right until the end. The work that the boys are doing; we’re asking them to push themselves to the limit both in training and in games. We now have a week and a half to continue the work we’ve been doing with the boys to prepare for the league opener.
“We have energy right throughout the team and it’s one of our big strengths. We get it from midfield, from wide areas, we’re relentless when we attack and we can win the ball back quickly too which is excellent.”
The manager then gave us an update on the condition of James Penrice, who dropped out of the starting line-up at the eleventh hour, and Cammy Palmer, who came off at half-time.
“James felt pain in his ankle yesterday and had to pull out after the warm-up so we’ll have to look at that tomorrow. Cammy’s seems to be just a dead leg. He wasn’t moving well at the end of the first half and our physio said it would only stiffen up over the break so we took him off.
“Thankfully, we now have four days before we start full training again so we can work with the guys individually and manage these knocks ahead of the league season starting.”
A more in depth video interview with Gary Caldwell is available to Jagzone subscribers now as well as reaction from Shea Gordon and Raffa De Vita.
Highlights will be added shortly and will be free for Jagzone subscribers.
For a full list of all the great content you can access from just £5.99 per month as a Jagzone member, click here.
Article Copyright © 2019. Permission to use quotations from this article online is only granted subject to appropriate source credit and hyperlink to ptfc.co.uk