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Match Preview

Partick Thistle v Ayr United – April 27th 2019

It’s a second outing against Ayr United in four days as the Jags continue to secure their position in the league for next season. A vital 1-0 win saw Thistle move up to sixth on Tuesday night and three more points could put relegation out of the picture entirely depending on what goes on elsewhere.

Despite the positives though, the message from the manager’s office is clear – things aren’t done yet. Thistle boss, Gary Caldwell sat down with shortly after training on Friday to look forward to another massive game at the Energy Check Stadium at Firhill.

“There is still a lot of hard work to do. we want to continue the run of form that we are on and we want to continue winning games right up until the end of the season. At the end of the season we’ll assess where we are in the league and look at the positives and the negatives from the season overall. It’s then vital that we take those into the planning for next season.”

With three games in the space of a week recovery will obviously be all important if the Jags are to take nine points from nine. While fitness is often an issue for teams at this stage of the season, Caldwell has no concerns.

“The players are refreshed and ready to go again. They recovered well after Tuesday night. The boys that played came in for a bit of light recovery on Thursday and those who didn’t worked a little bit harder. We were back at it on Friday and putting the usual hard work in to ensure we are ready to go when we come up against Ayr on Saturday.

“We are in the position now where we have a squad that we can rotate and make sure that everyone who starts a game is 100% fit and ready to do the job and give everything for the team. Our staff have a massive role to play at this stage of the season as well and it’s probably when we rely on them the most. They do everything for the player to make sure they can focus on their performance and nothing else.”

A rousing away support played no small part in Tuesday night’s victory and the Partick Thistle manager is certainly impressed with what he has seen since joining the Club in October. That being said, Caldwell is calling on Jags fans for one last push.

“It’s been excellent and since the turn of the year we have showed what a good team we really can be. Tuesday night was a high point for me though with the energy and passion from the supporters. The players and I felt a real connection with the supporters. I think that came as a result of them seeing a team that was passionate and hungry to do well and that was ready to do whatever it took to get the result over the line.

“We’d love them to come out in huge numbers again on Saturday and hopefully we’ll give them a performance to match.”

There was one noticeable casualty from Tuesday night’s victory with Scott McDonald being forced off the pitch with a nasty looking head knock in the lead up to the winning goal. There was some concern at the time for the prolific number 10 but Caldwell moved to allay those fears even if the recovery won’t come in time for Saturday.

“He is recovering but it was a bad one and he won’t be fit for Saturday. It was a serious head knock and we had to get him off for his own safety. He’s been back in the gym but you can’t take any risks with head injuries so we’ll just need to keep assessing him as the days go by. Other than that we’ve not picked up any other knocks which is really good news.”

A more detailed discussion with Thistle manager, Gary Caldwell, as well as a preview interview with Blair Spittal and Gary Harkins is available to Jagzone subscribers – log in now to see them.

Jagzone members will also be able to watch extended highlights and a full match replay 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 2:45pm on Saturday.

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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