Thursday 13th January, 2022 at 5:40pm
The management team’s written previews and reactions are presented by The Jags Trust. You can keep up to date with the latest from The Jags Trust by visiting their website, www.jagstrust.com.
It’s the first game at Firhill in 2022 this Friday for Partick Thistle as they host Kilmarnock in the cinch Championship. The Jags got the new year started with a 2-2 draw against Hamilton last weekend but will now look to go one better as Killie visit Maryhill. The Ayrshire side got the Derek McInnes era off to a winning start as they beat Queen of the South 2-0 at Palmerston Park last Saturday and will be keen to repeat the result they got last time they came to Firhill when an own goal and an Oli Shaw volley saw them take three points. Thistle assistant manager Neil Scally spoke to ptfc.co.uk to preview the clash:
“It’s obviously a really big game for both teams and one that we’ve been looking forward to. We’ve been preparing well this week and having missed games and some training over the past few weeks, every session has been vital for us. Add in the gametime we got against Hamilton and we’re in a good place ahead of the match.”
Reflecting on the 2-2 draw against Accies at the Fountain of Youth Stadium, Neil was disappointed the team didn’t manage to win the game.
“I thought we were the better team overall, certainly the more creative and if we’d taken our chances then we could have won by a couple. Early on they were on top but we grew into things and looked the more dangerous of the two teams.
“To be fair, in terms of general play, it was probably fairly even but when you look at chances Tiff had a couple of chances that he could have done better with, Brian had one, Holty had a header cleared off the line and there were a couple of deflected shots that were very close so ultimately we came off the pitch feeling like we should have taken the three points rather than one.”
Now the Jags prepare to face third-placed Kilmarnock and although they’ve recently changed manager, Scally doesn’t expect a drastic change of approach from the Rugby Park outfit.
“This season they’ve been a fairly direct and physical team who are tough to score against and I don’t think that’ll change now that Derek is in charge. Against Queen of the South they set up a bit differently but, as I say, I don’t think the way they go about the game will be massively different.”
A win would bring Thistle within a point of their opponents with a game in hand and Neil reckons that should be a big incentive for the Jags’ players going into the game.
“At the moment, we’re playing catch-up because of the games that have been called off so every game is a chance to put pressure on everyone else and when you’ve got a game against one of the other top five teams it’s even more so.
“For us, we know how big a win would be in this game but Kilmarnock will be thinking the same thing. We’re getting to a point in the season when the importance of each game goes up week after week so we just need to keep a level head and focus on getting a result.”
To finish, Neil gave us the latest team news ahead of the clash.
“We’re now getting the squad back to full strength after having had so many players missing a couple of weeks ago. Shea Gordon is going out on loan to Queen of the South which is one change but there are no new injuries to talk about at the moment which is great news.”
Exclusive video interviews with Neil Scally and Kyle Turner will be available for JagZone subscribers to watch today – log in to view.
Due to current national restrictions on outdoor event attendances, a limited number of Thistle fans will be allowed to attend this fixture at Firhill. Entry to the game was decided by a ballot and fans who were successful have been notified.
A PPV live stream is available for supporters to purchase, priced at £12 – click here for more info.
We’ll have extended highlights and a full game replay of the fixture on JagZone following the game.
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