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Match Preview

Assistant Manager’s Preview: Neil Scally – 23rd November 2019

Thistle host Penicuik Athletic in the William Hill Scottish Cup tomorrow afternoon with the Jags looking to secure their place in the next round of the competition. There has been a lot of developments off the pitch this week and that is where started our chat with Assistant Manager Neil Scally as we looked ahead to the match.

“There has been no change in focus for us. We’re just focused on what happens on the pitch. What has happened off the pitch is nothing to do with us so we’ve been firmly focused on Penicuik Athletic.

“The players have been training really well this week. We’re on the back of two good victories and we’re looking to make it three wins in a row to secure our place in the next round of the cup. We can see the confidence of the players rising throughout the month and we are going to use that in tomorrow’s tie.”

With our visitors bringing over 1,000 fans to Maryhill Scally believes it has all the makings of a classic cup tie.

“Without a doubt. We’ve just played Stenhousemuir, so we know that Penicuik must be a decent side if they knocked a League Two side out of the competition. They will be looking to add us to their list of scalps so we are going to have to be professional and earn the right to win the game of football over the 90 minutes.

“It has all the makings of a great cup tie. I think everyone in Penicuik is going to travel along the M8 to Maryhill with over 1,200 tickets sold by them and our fans are always out in good numbers supporting us so it should make for a great afternoon.”

Thistle’s preparation for the match has been as professional as ever and Neil detailed a few of the ways the team have been preparing for the visit of Cuikie.

“We’ve had them watched a couple of times with Willie Kinniburgh taking in a few of their games. We know what to expect from them and we are well aware of their threats and how they can hurt us, but more importantly how we can hurt them. Preparation-wise we’ve been treating it like a league game, progressing in the cup brings money to the club. We’re looking to get another win and keep the confidence levels rising among the group going into a run of tough Championship games.”

The Jags were missing the services of three Jags last weekend through international duty but the assistant gaffer is proud to see them go away with their countries.

“It’s great for them individually to go and perform for their countries but for the club it is fantastic as well because it helps raise Thistle’s profile and makes us more attractive to players who might join us in the future. Unfortunately Shea has picked up a knock which we are still assessing, so he won’t make the game on Saturday but Osman Kakay and Cammy Palmer come back into contention.”

Finally Neil updated us with the team news ahead of tomorrow’s game.

“Joe Cardle and Stuart Bannigan are suspended which is disappointing because they are two players we’d love to have available for us. We have a big squad though so it will give someone else the opportunity to get involved and impress us going in to the next game.”

More exclusive preview interviews with Craig Slater and Thistle assistant manager, Neil Scally, are now available to JagZone subscribers – log in to see them.

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