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Match Preview

Manager’s Preview: Ian McCall – 26th November 2019

Thistle return to action tomorrow night as Alloa Athletic visit the Energy Check Stadium at Firhill on Ladbrokes Championship business. Jags gaffer Ian McCall caught up with to look ahead to the clash with the Wasps.

“Tomorrow is a big game but they’ve all been big over the last couple of months. That is the way this league is. Once we get past tomorrow, Saturday will be just as big and then it moves onto the following Saturday being big as well. All the teams are closely matched and it could be as tight a league as it was last season.

“We’ve set a target of where we want to be when January comes and it is up to us to go and get results to do that. We’ve had ten games since I came back and we’ve won six of them. I’m still not happy with how we’ve played, the players know they can do a lot better but if you win 60% of your games I’d take that for the rest of my managerial career.”

The gaffer is looking for more points to add to the tally and has been pleased with the recent form.

“We’re putting in the hard work and effort and it’s not manifesting in brilliant performances but we’re getting wins on the board. We’ve won three of the last four which is a good run to have so we’ll be looking to keep that going. I hope we get a reaction tomorrow night and we’ll need an improved performance if we are going to get the win.

“We got through in the Scottish Cup and drew Celtic which is great. It’s a boost for the club financially and should be a great day for everyone involved and it is one to look forward to when it comes round in January.”

The focus has been on recovery with just 72 hours between matches and Ian admits the preparation is individual for each player.

“The preparation has been specific to each player. Everyone was in on Sunday morning for training and the players who didn’t take part on Saturday did a bit more than the players who did. We want to have everyone firing and ready to play on Tuesday night so we have to tailor it to what each player needs.

Finally the manager updated us with team news.

“Joe Cardle returns from suspension which is a big boost because he is a very creative player. Stuart Bannigan serves the last match of his suspension so he’ll miss out again. We’ve got the usual knocks and niggles that you get when you play so quickly but they should all be fine.

“The big news is about Shea Gordon. He took a bad one when he was on international duty and when he first came back we thought it might have been a season ender for him. We’ve had him looked at, and while I don’t want to put an exact time on it, I think we are looking at him missing out for about three months. It’s a shame for Shea because he has shown his quality recently and went into the international break on a real high with those two goals against Morton.”

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