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Match Preview

Inverness CT v Partick Thistle – 2nd February 2019

This Saturday sees the Jags travel north to the Highlands for their Ladbrokes Championship tie against Inverness. With the team travelling for an overnight stay in Aviemore before the game Thistle gaffer, Gary Caldwell, spoke exclusively to just before he jumped on the bus for the long journey north.

With temperatures around Glasgow plummeting this week there has been a certain amount of disruption for many Glaswegians and it has provided certain logistical issues for Gary Caldwell and his side. That being said, the Jags gaffer insists the side’s preparation has not been affected.

“We’re all looking forward to the game and Inverness have told us they have no concerns about the weather which is great news. It has been very cold this week – I doubt that has escaped peoples’ attention – but it hasn’t disrupted our preparation at all. We trained indoors earlier in the week and the players have worked hard even when the surface hasn’t been ideal at times.

“We travel up on Friday which makes a difference because we are only half an hour away rather than three and a half hours away when it comes to Saturday morning. It also allows the players to get the best possible preparation in terms of sleep, nutrition, hydration and all the other things that a professional athlete needs so it is a real bonus for us.”

Thursday brought a close to the January transfer window and with a significant number of ins and outs at the Energy Check Stadium at Firhill, Caldwell is very happy with the business done by the Club.

“We set the target before January started of coming out of the window a stronger side than we were when we went into the window and I think we can definitely say that is the case. We have strengthened the core of the side with a goalkeeper, a centre back, a central midfielder and two strikers coming into the Club. On top of that we’ve got some great creativity in Joe Cardle and some additional versatility at the back in the form of Jack McMillan.

“It’s often easy to fixate on the final day of the window and judge a team’s entire business on those 24 hours. Having said that I said right from the start that I hoped to be judged on the whole January transfer window and I think over the piece we have had a good month. Yes, in an ideal world we may have added an extra striker on deadline day but I am very happy with what we have and how we shape up going into the rest of the season.

“It was a fantastic team effort over the last 30 or so days with everyone at the Club contributing to make sure our business was a success.”

Looking forward to this weekend’s opponents, the Thistle boss will not be taking anything for granted and he knows that, despite a tough midweek match, Caley will be well up for the tie.

“They’re a team that are definitely dangerous going forward but there are weaknesses there to exploit as well – that’s probably why they’ve had a lot of draws. We know the threat they bring but I feel we’re ready for the challenge. Games up in the Highlands are never easy, we’re in good form though and are still unbeaten in 2019. We want to take that run into February and keep building momentum going forward.

“They had a tough game against Ayr midweek and it’s never easy to play matches in such a close timescale. We know they’ll be working hard not to let that affect them though and we need to do what we can to make it work in our favour.”

Finally, Caldwell offered an update on the injury situation.

“It looks like Joe Cardle will definitely miss this week. His injury wasn’t as bad as we first thought so we’re hopeful he will be back soon. That was a relief for us as Joe has been excellent since he came to the Club. We’ll need to deal without him on Saturday but I’m confident the other players will step in.”

More exclusive preview interviews with Aidan Fitzpatrick, James Penrice and Jags gaffer, Gary Caldwell, are available to Jagzone subscribers – log in now to see them.

Jagzone members will also be able to watch extended highlights of the game.

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