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Match Preview

Manager’s Preview: Airdrieonians – 13th July 2019

After a lot of hard work over pre-season, it’s finally time to get back into the competitive games for Partick Thistle. This Saturday, the Jags take on Airdrieonians at the Energy Check Stadium at Firhill in the first of four Betfred Cup Group F ties which will take place this month. Clyde, Queen’s Park and Hamilton Accies are the three other sides in the Jags’ group with cup progression the reward for all group winners and the four best runners up from the eight total groups. This season, for the first time since the re-introduction of the group stage format in 2016, Thistle will start their ties with a home fixture and caught up with Jags gaffer, Gary Caldwell, ahead of the weekend’s match:

“We’re all really looking forward to getting started for the new season. A lot of work has gone into our preparations from everyone involved and now we just want to play. We feel like we’re in a good place to begin these Betfred Cup games and hopefully progress to the next round.”

In Airdrieonians, Thistle face a big test on opening day with the Diamonds expected to be one of the better sides in League 1 this season.

“It’s not an easy game by any means. Airdrieonians have done a lot of business over the summer and have made some good additions to their squad. We need to make sure that we are locked in and motivated but I have no doubts that the squad will be.”

Caldwell completed the signing of Rangers midfielder, Cammy Palmer, on loan until January this Wednesday and the gaffer is hopeful the 19-year-old will have a lot to offer in his time in Maryhill.

“Cammy a bit of a different midfielder to what we had already. He’s a great tackler and loves to win the ball back. Also, he was the captain of Rangers reserves last year as they won the title so he’s a player with maturity beyond this years.

“He’d been playing with reserves at Rangers in pre-season and they’ve played a handful of friendlies so he’s match sharp and ready to play straight away too which is great.”

The manager then went on to talk a bit more about his general transfer plans for the rest of the summer window.

“Cammy joining means there’s one less gap to fill but there’s still work to be done in a couple of different areas. We’ve got a good starting XI in place but, at the moment, we don’t have the depth that we want in some positions so we’ll continue looking at ways to strengthen the squad.”

Gary also gave us an update on the injury front ahead of Saturday’s match.

“Craig Slater will miss out. He’s still in the recovery phase after his surgery earlier in the summer. Gary Harkins has been carrying an ankle knock and he’ll get an injection for that which we’re hoping will help it settle a bit. Apart from that we have no big injury problems at the moment.”

A more in-depth video interview with Thistle manager, Gary Caldwell, is available to watch on JagZone now as well interviews with Stuart Bannigan and Joe Cardle.

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

Can’t make it to the Energy Check Stadium at Firhill? Jagzone members can listen to live audio commentary of the match. JagZoneLIVE begins at 2:45pm tomorrow.

For a full list of all the great content you can access from just £5.99 per month as a Jagzone member, click here.

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