Friday 13th November, 2020 at 8:09pm
The Betfred Cup group stages come to a conclusion this weekend for Partick Thistle as they play their fourth game of the groups against Greenock Morton at Firhill. The Jags are still in with a chance of topping Group G with best runner-up spots also still up for grabs. Thistle assistant manager Neil Scally spoke to ptfc.co.uk ahead of the contest:
“We’re looking forward to the game because we’ve got a chance of going through. It could have been the case that this was a dead rubber for us but because of the way results went in midweek, we’ve still got an opportunity to qualify.
“The other game in the group will have an effect on what we can do but we just need to focus on ourselves, make sure we get the win and then we can look at what’s happened elsewhere after the match.”
Our opponents played out a draw against St. Mirren in midweek but Scally doesn’t think that will give the Maryhill men any sort of edge over the Ton.
“I don’t think it matters that much because it’s not as if everyone’s been playing weekend then midweek repeatedly this season so far. If you’re playing midweek games every week then it can creep up on you and players can be fatigued but that’s not been the case.
“In all honesty, when I was a player I actually preferred the frequent games because you were able to get into a rhythm of playing games one after another.”
Brian Graham and Ross Docherty will both be serving suspensions for the game and, although that presents a huge challenge, Scally is hopeful that the players who come in for them will be able to fill their boots.
“There’s no getting a way from it; they’re two massive losses for us and it weakens the team but it’s an opportunity for other guys to come in and make their mark. The players who come in have to see it as a chance to show what they can do and put themselves in the manager’s thinking for the upcoming league games.”
With those two absentees in addition to the list of players who are out injured, the coaching staff will have to be a bit creative with their selections this week but Neil is confident that the team will be able to go and win the game despite being depleted in numbers.
“It’s the reason that you go and build a strong all-round squad. We’ve got quite a few missing at the moment but we feel like the guys coming in are more than capable of starting this game. We might have to move things about a bit but we’ll have a strong XI to field tomorrow.”
Scally ended by giving us the latest team news and updates on some of the aforementioned injured squad members.
“Zak Rudden and Jamie Sneddon have come through their operations and have started their rehab programs. They’ve been in around the guys too so it’s good for them to not feel too isolated while they’re making their recovery because it can feel lonely at times.
“Ciaran McKenna’s seen a consultant about his issue and it’s looking like he will have to go for surgery too which is a blow but on the plus side, Tam O’Ware has been back doing some light training. He’s done some running and managed to move on to ball work as well so he’s getting closer every day.
“Salim Kouider-Aissa, who missed last week’s game will hopefully be back in the next week or two. It’s a real shame that he misses this game though because with Zak and Brian Graham out, he would have been starting and it would have been a great opportunity for him to show what he can do.”
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