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Match Preview

Manager’s Preview: Ian McCall – 21st November 2020

After taking on Morton in the Betfred Cup last Saturday, it’s back to league action this week for Partick Thistle as East Fife make the trip from Methil to Maryhill. The Jags sit level on points with Darren Young’s side after four games and either team could jump into the promotion play-off spots with a victory. Thistle boss Ian McCall spoke to to preview the clash:

“For us, it’s a chance to start building a bit of momentum but East Fife will not be easy, I think they’ll be looking forward to the game too. If you look at our last two league games, the table could look very different if we don’t lose two late goals in the 94th and the 89th minute so it’s very thin lines for us at the moment.

“At Firhill we’re unbeaten and we want to keep that going. We had a good comeback win against Airdrieonians and would have had another one against Falkirk had it not been for that late goal and then with 13 outfield players available we manage to beat a Championship side in Morton on penalties so we obviously want to continue with the unbeaten home start.”

Having completed their Betfred Cup campaign, McCall’s side now have a straight run of five matches to take them to the end of the first round of fixtures and he’s keen to see his side climb the table over the course of this stretch.

“I think as we get to the end of the first third of the games as it is this season we have to cement ourselves in the top four and get to within touching distance of the top. To do that we need to go out and win games and that’s what we’re looking to do this weekend first and foremost.”

When Blair Spittal picked up an injury in the first half of the game against Morton last week it was Blair Lyons who took his place and the gaffer says he has high hopes for the winger.

“It’s important to remember he was playing for his university just a couple of years ago and he’s making his first move into full-time training this year which is very demanding for someone who isn’t used to it and it can take time to adjust. He’s had a couple of little injuries that prove that but he’s got talent which is clear to see and we’re looking forward to seeing what he can do in the future.”

Having been very limited in his options for the game against Morton, Ian gave us an update on how the squad’s looking this week.

“Brian Graham and Ross Docherty come back in but everyone else who was missing will still be out. We’re just hoping we can get over this situation. We’ve already modified training so that we’re doing minimal contact work but still we get another injury this week so we can only hope that it evens itself out eventually.”

The manager then expanded on the importance of having Graham and Docherty back from suspension as two of the more experienced heads in the squad.

“Those two have been excellent. I think Ross Docherty has been our best player this season and is so important in that spine of the team and Brian will make a big difference too. Not having any strikers last weekend really limited what we could do going forward so bringing Brian back in gives us a whole new dimension.”

More exclusive preview interviews with Thistle assistant manager, Alan Archibald and Darren Brownlie are now available for JagZone subscribers to watch – log in to view.

We’re streaming our clash with East Fife on Saturday afternoon. A pay-per-view pass costs just £10 for this match. Click here to purchase your pay-per-view pass.

We’ll also have extended highlights and a full game replay of the League One clash on JagZone this Saturday evening.

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