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Match Preview

Manager’s Preview: Ian McCall – 16th November 2019

It’s back to cup action for Partick Thistle as they look to build on their league success over Morton by securing a place in the semi-finals of the Tunnock’s Caramel Wafer Challenge Cup. Stenhousemuir are the opposition as the Jags visit Ochilview for the first time since July 2018 when two Shea Gordon goals separated the sides. Now, Ian McCall takes his Thistle side to face the Warriors hoping to see them take another step towards cup glory. The gaffer spoke to ahead of the clash, beginning by reflecting on the previous week’s win:

“It was brilliant to see the fight and determination from the boys especially considering our home league record this season. At half-time, we should have been at least two up and the game could have been out of sight but they showed spirit and endeavour to come away with a win.

“That’s not to say it wasn’t nervy and I’m sure the supporters were feeling that as much as me but to get across the line, it felt like a big moment.”

Now, McCall wants his players to carry the qualities shown against Morton into their meeting with Stenhousemuir.

“We need to keep it going and we want to encourage that positive mentality within the squad. We’ve had a couple of false dawns since I’ve been back but we now really do need to kick on, create some momentum and hopefully get ourselves into a semi-final as a result of that.”

Then Ian gave us his thoughts on our opponents, Stenhousemuir. The League One side have won three games to get to the quarter-finals, all at home, and the boss is expecting a very tough encounter against Davy Irons’ team.

“They had some good results when Davy took over but they’ve had struggles recently. We’ve watched them, have the report there and are well-prepared for the match.

“I reckon we’ll take a good crowd across and there will be an atmosphere about the game because it’s a quarter-final after all. That might give their guys a bit of a lift but, either way, it won’t be an easy game.”

McCall continued by complementing the Jags support who he feels have been excellent at home and away since he returned to the club.

“It’s a fanbase that’s been through a lot in a relatively short space of time in football terms but nevertheless they’ve been fantastic. Even at home when we’ve been struggling, they’ve tried to encourage and support us as much as possible. It’s up to us to give them stuff to shout about and hopefully at Ochilview we can give them a semi-final to look forward to.”

Finally the gaffer finished up with team news for tomorrow’s match.

“Shea Gordon, Cammy Palmer and Osman Kakay will all miss out as they are on international duty. Stuart Bannigan has a three match suspension so he’ll miss this cup tie, the Penicuik match and our league fixture against Alloa Athletic. Dario Zanatta can’t play either because he is cup tied. Apart from the long term injuries though, we are fully fit and looking forward to the game.”

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