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Partick Thistle FC
Partick Thistle FC
Match Preview

Partick Thistle v Dunfermline Athletic – 8th December 2018

Following back to back away Ladbrokes Championship matches for the Jags it is a return to the Energy Check Stadium at Firhill as Gary Caldwell looks to continue his side’s improvement with all three points against the Pars. When Caldwell spoke to he explained just how much of a boost returning to Maryhill could give the side.

“It’s brilliant to be back at home. Players always want to play in familiar surroundings and in front of their own supporters so we’re all really looking forward to this week’s match. Home form is vital for any successful team and just about every successful team will have good home form. I think our last game here at the Energy Check stadium at Firhill was probably our best performance of the season or certainly since I took over. The aim is to continue that, get the win and hopefully spark a run of results.”

It was heartbreak for Thistle last week as a good performance in which the visitors dominated much of the play saw Jags fans come away from Palmerston with nothing to show for their team’s endeavour – despite the denial of a stonewall penalty in the closing stages. Despite that the Thistle boss is quick to cut down any suggestion that the result is down to simple bad luck.

“It’s fine details and tiny margins that win and lose football games and that has what has been costing us points. We haven’t got them right yet but we have worked extremely hard to try and put that right. We know where we need to improve to get that win to kick start our campaign and really get things going.

“Winning the next game is the most important thing, once we get that we can start looking at a run of games and maybe look beyond just the next Saturday but just now our entire focus is on winning the next game.”

The Maryhill men find themselves bottom of the table but Caldwell is adamant that it is only those inside the camp who can get themselves out of the situation.

“We are in a position we shouldn’t be and, as a group of players, a staff, as a football club, we need to put it right and we are the only ones who can change it. We will come out fighting to get ourselves off the bottom of the table but that is just a start. The talent we have means we shouldn’t be where we are but we are so we need to do something about it ourselves because nobody else will do it for you.

“It’s up to the players who are here now to go and show they want to be at this football club for the remaining months of this season and beyond that. January is coming and every team will try and strengthen when the window opens. We are no different to that. The players who are here really need to perform and show passion for this football club and that will turn into results. If they can do that there will be a place for them here.”

Finally the gaffer gave an update on the latest fitness issues ahead of the weekend’s clash.

“Aidan Fitzpatrick had picked up a small knock on his ankle. He’ll get a test ahead of the game to see where he is but we’ll do everything we can to get him fit to play. After his performance last week it would be great to have him so we’ll leave it until the very last minute to give him the best possible chance of being included. Other than that it is just the long term ones who continue to work hard with the physios and fitness coaches to get back playing as soon as possible. Everyone else has had a really good week of training and are ready for Saturday.”

More exclusive preview interviews with Stuart Bannigan, Chris Erskine and Jags gaffer, Gary Caldwell, are available to Jagzone subscribers – log in now to see them.

Jagzone members will also be able to watch extended highlights 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.

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