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Match Preview

Alloa Athletic v Partick Thistle – 20th October 2018

It has been a period of change and transition for the Jags as Gary Caldwell prepares for his first game in charge of Partick Thistle. With sights still firmly set on promotion back to the Ladbrokes Premiership this season the new Thistle boss will see his reign begin on the plastic pitch of the Indodrill Stadium. Despite a very busy week Caldwell was happy to sit down with to give an update of how his first few days had been but firstly he explained why Thistle was the right Club for him.

“Straight from my first contact with Gerry Britton and the Club it has been clear to me that it is an extremely professional and well run organisation. There are plenty of forward thinking people here and very early on I could see there were long term plans in place to improve the infrastructure of the Club. It was a very appealing place for me and having watched the team I was very excited by the potential that is in this playing squad.”

Caldwell has now spent three full training sessions with the team and admits it has been a fantastic experience getting back on the training pitch.

“It has been fantastic, getting out on the pitch is exactly what you look forward to as a manager so it has been great to be able to do that this week. Right from first meeting the lads on Monday to having our first training session on Tuesday to finishing up today their application and enthusiasm has been second to none. Now we just look forward to Saturday’s game and hopefully we can start putting some of that hard work to good use.

“During this initial period it is really important that we get to know the players really well but also that they get to know me and how I want to work. We’ll look to work on specific parts of the game that we feel need improved upon to win games of football. There’s a lot of work to do but the players’ approach has been second to none and we need that to continue.”

With only a handful of contact hours so far, some might question how much can actually be achieved ahead of a game that comes so soon after the manager joined the Club. The gaffer is quite clear that a lot can change even in a short amount of time.

“I certainly believe we can have an impact in that amount of time. At the end of the day that is what our jobs are as coaches and we should be looking to have a positive impact every single day. That goes for this week and every week beyond.”

Although three points is the clear objective for the weekend Caldwell was quick to disavow any notion that Alloa would be an easy first opponent.

“We know this won’t be an easy first game for us. Alloa came up last year and they are riding the crest of that wave which gives an enormous amount of confidence and belief. They have a good manager who has them very well organised. Ultimately it is down to us to compete and match them and that is very much what we’ll be aiming to do come kick off on Saturday.”

Finally, the gaffer gave the all-important team news ahead of Saturday’s clash.

“We’re pretty much the same as we were last week. The long term injuries are still working hard behind the scenes to progress on that front and we’ve had no further injuries since then which is good news. There will undoubtedly be some tough decisions to make but that is a good problem to have as a manager.”

More exclusive preview interviews with Kris Doolan, Niall Keown 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.

Can’t make it to the Indodrill Stadium? Jagzone members can listen to live audio commentary of the match. JagZoneLIVE begins at 2:45pm on Saturday.

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