Friday 14th December, 2018 at 5:57pm
This Saturday brings Alloa Athletic to the Energy Check Stadium at Firhill as Thistle look to build on the three well deserved points gained last week against Dunfermline. It was a hard fought win that brought Thistle manager, Gary Caldwell, his first three points as Jags boss and the man at the helm in Maryhill is now looking to build on that performance and result as the New Year looms.
Speaking to ptfc.co.uk ahead of Saturday’s clash, Gary started by describing the mood around the camp following victory against The Pars.
“It has been a really good week. Everyone has had an extra spring in their step following the result last week and that has brought an added focus and determination to push on both in terms of performances and results.
“We really saw the impact those old school values can have on a side last week – hunger, desire, commitment and teamwork were all clear to see from the players against Dunfermline. I showed the players on Monday how important the little details and small parts of the game are. I’m talking about things that most people won’t see but they are so often the difference between scoring a goal and missing a chance, between clearing a ball and conceding a goal or between winning a game and losing a game. We have done a lot right since I’ve been at the football club but Saturday had that extra ingredient that you need to win games.
“We’ll need just as much from the players this Saturday but the aim has to be to build on that win now and put a decent run together.”
As always, fitness and availability is all important ahead of Saturday’s tie but little has changed since last week.
“Not much changes this week. Slater is still out but he is progressing well and should be back for next week. Jai Quitongo will not be available and the longer term ones are still working away to get back to fitness.”
It was Alloa that provided the opposition for Caldwell’s very first game as Jags manager but the Thistle boss is certain that his side will look quite different this time around.
“It has been a totally different build up compared to the last time we played. I know the Club and the players much better and I’m certain it will be a totally different Thistle team that takes to the pitch on Saturday. The change and improvement that has happened in that space of time is phenomenal but we need to come out with the same appetite and attitude that we had last week.
“They are a good side and we can’t underestimate them. They cause teams problems when they are allowed pass the ball and they have threats at the top end of the pitch. They are dangerous from set plays. We have to be ready for a big challenge because anything less than that and we leave ourselves open and they will take advantage of that. It’s vital we make sure that from minute one we go and attack and play with real energy.
“We’re at home again so we’ll be looking to get the fans behind us early on in the game and kick on from the Dunfermline game to get another victory.”
More exclusive preview interviews with Kris Doolan, Jamie Sneddon and Jags gaffer, Gary Caldwell, are available to Jagzone subscribers – log in now to see them.
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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 on Saturday.
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