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Manager’s preview: Clyde – 24th July 2019

Wednesday night sees Thistle take on Clyde in the Jags’ final 2019 Betfred Cup Group Stage fixture. Thistle know that a win will guarantee them top spot in the group but Gary Caldwell is adamant that there is absolutely no room for complacency.

The Thistle boss has been pleased with the overall progression of his side so far but knows there is still plenty of hard work to come, a point he made very clear when he spoke exclusively to ahead of the match.

Caldwell said: “We’ve seen good progress every game in terms of performance and we have added something new to that overall team effort every time we’ve played. It’s vital that no complacency slips in though, anything but a win today could well see us fail to qualify so from our point of view all of our focus will be on making sure we get the job done.

“It certainly won’t be easy. We have seen how Airdrieonians performed and how difficult Queen’s park made it for us. Clyde will be no different so we have to be fully focused, well prepared and ready to win the game.

“We have found every game we’ve played so far has been a real challenge. The lower league teams are very fit considering they don’t train full time and every game they have posed real problems for us. Again, we expect Clyde to be no different so we’ll have to be at our best to take the three points and win the group.”

Caldwell has made no secret of the fact that he is using the first round of the Betfred Cup competition as a period of pre-season preparation for the beginning of the Ladbrokes Championship campaign. That being said, results so far have been pleasing for the manager.

“We spoke with the players yesterday and I think that the pleasing thing for us is that we are winning games and we still have areas to work on. We have a group of players who are open to how we want to play and we know if we can keep that all together we will continue to improve right the way through the season.

“The players are working really hard and are constantly striving to improve, constantly striving to get that perfect game. To find ourselves in the position we are in and still have that drive to improve and better ourselves can only be a good thing.

“When we go into any competition we want to win it and that has been our mindset from day one of pre-season. If we can win this group it will be a really positive start to the league campaign and we’ll be able to start that in a real positive state of mind.”

As the transfer window continues to progress, Caldwell gave an update on where Thistle are in terms of recruitment and also talked through the all important team news.

“We’re still working to bring another few bodies in and we will keep working right until the end of August. Nothing is particularly close at the moment but we’re looking at players all the time and working to identify those individuals who would benefit our squad and make us a better team.”

“Everyone is fully fit which is great. Harkins had his ankle operation and will now be in a boot for a few weeks. We’ll keep monitoring him on a daily basis and he’ll work closely with the physios right through the process. Craig Slater has started running which has been great to see but he’s still a bit longer term for now. Getting out onto the grass has obviously given him a massive boost though and he’ll be like a new signing when we do get him back.”

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 Alex Jones.

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 19:30 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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